Definition of ensile in English:


Pronunciation /inˈsīl/ /ɪnˈsaɪl/ /enˈsīl/ /ɛnˈsaɪl/

transitive verb

[with object]
  • Put (grass or another crop) into a silo in order to preserve it as silage.

    ‘the grass was ensiled with sugar beet plus an inoculant’
    • ‘When heavy infestations of corn smut occur, grain yields can be so severely decreased that the most viable economic alternative may be to harvest and ensile the crop.’
    • ‘High nitrate levels persist when forages are cut for hay, but ensiling the crop reduces nitrates by one-half.’
    • ‘Various approaches to ensiling crops have been developed, but many systems are expensive and are not suitable for emergency conditions or the small producer.’
    • ‘Directly ensiled grass can produce peak effluent flows of up to 30 litres per tonne per day for the first few days after ensiling.’
    • ‘Initial costs for this system are minimal, and storage costs are less than ensiling in concrete bunker silos or bagging silage.’
    • ‘A preservative is then applied and the grain is ensiled in a polythene-lined clamp.’
    • ‘Direct chopping and ensiling this wet corn can cause heavy seepage and a sour silage.’
    • ‘About 50 million wet tons of alfalfa are ensiled annually in the United States, and 30-50 percent of this tonnage is inoculated at a cost of about $1 per ton.’
    • ‘Pits can be opened 10-15 days after ensiling but the silage will be unstable, as fermentation will not be completed.’
    • ‘The value of the crop for cattle feed if grazed, hayed or ensiled depends on yield, the price of alternative forages, and cost of utilization as forage.’
    • ‘Sugar concentrations will be reduced by wetness on the crop - thus, once these crops dry out they are most likely to be relatively easy to preserve provided they can be ensiled properly.’
    • ‘For example, an increase of 3 tonnes per acre, going from 9 tonnes to 12 tonnes per acre, reduces the cost per tonne ensiled by about €5 per tonne.’
    • ‘Observing the development of the corn kernel milkline can provide a guide as to when corn is at the proper dry matter content for ensiling.’
    • ‘I intend to ensile my thoughts here as the spirit moves…’
    • ‘The grain was crimped and ensiled and will be fed to the herd through a total mixed ration system.’
    • ‘They found that although red clover and alfalfa have similar protein levels, the protein in red clover does not degrade during ensiling nearly as dramatically as the protein in alfalfa.’
    • ‘The fungus might also affect ensiling indirectly by producing fractures in the cell walls and cuticle of the plant, thus giving fermenting bacteria a greater access to the forage.’
    • ‘They like to harvest at 40-65 percent moisture, and they wrap the bales in stretch plastic for ensiling.’
    • ‘Alfalfa-grass mixtures cure more rapidly and ensile more easily than pure alfalfa.’
    • ‘Eric Hanbidge says that tanks and drains should be inspected hourly after ensiling until effluent release from ensiled grass has stopped.’


Late 19th century from French ensiler, from Spanish ensilar, from en- ‘in’ + silo ‘silo’.