What is Crimping

Crimping originated in Finland in the late 1960’s as a method of preserving grain and pulses without expensive drying and storage. Grain is combined approximately 3 weeks before conventional harvest between 25 - 35% moisture and put through a crimping machine which adds a preservative and crimps the grain by breaking the seed coat. The crimped grain is then ensiled in an airtight clamp or ag bag .


Advantages of Crimping

You are much less weather dependant and avoid the cost of drying and providing good storage. By harvesting early (approximately by 3 weeks) you are maximising yield of nutrients, increasing grain and straw yield and allowing a wider window for establishment of following crops. You are producing a moist, more palatable and more digestible feed that reduces digestive upsets such as acidosis. Crimping is a dust free operation and is classed as an arable silage so reducing the need for vermin and bird protection.



The crop is ready to harvest when the grain is at the hard cheese stage. Placing the grain between your finger and thumb you should just be able to squash the grain with a hard squeeze and no moisture or cheese is expressed.



The combine needs to have a reduced speed and sieves need to be opened up to catch small grains that would normally be expelled in the straw during conventional harvest.The grain will look chaffy. Pay attention not to fill grain hopper up as this can put pressure on the auger in the spout. Feel your way into the quantity of grain in the tank that your combine can cope with.

The straw will need to be dried for several days. Leave the straw in row and turn for final drying in good weather. Crimped straw will cope with rain only if it’s unturned. The nutritional quality of crimped straw is higher than conventional straw and it makes an excellent feed straw ( it could also be clamped or round baled and wrapped behind the combine but don’t dry the straw). If you need the straw for bedding it is a better absorber if you let the straw go dry and wait for another 24-48 hrs. Weather permitting!



The Process

⦁ Crimp grain within 48 hours of combining

⦁ Crimp grain within 48 hours of combining

⦁ Grain is flattened & seed coat broken

⦁ Add water to dry samples to ensile at 65% DM

⦁ Use an effective additive.


BioStabil HiDry



⦁ Estimate clamp size.  Crimp grain yields approximately 50% more tonnage than conventional harvest. 1 cubic metre clamp space is needed/tonne.

⦁ Consider construction. If the grain is more than 1 metre in height you will need strong clamp walls.

⦁ Roll and consolidate in small layers in Dorset Wedge method.

⦁ Seal with side sheets from shoulder to shoulder. Consider cling film as an under sheet. If possible weight the clamp to increase compaction in top layers.

⦁ Ensile for 8 weeks