Correctly harvested and properly ensiled maize silage is great forage to havein any ruminant ration, providing quality starch and useful fibre levels. The fermentation is never a problem becausethe low buffering capacity of the crop and relatively high dry matter (DM) meanthat lactic acid bacteria can lower the pH of the forage very quickly.
However, this ease of fermentation is a double-edged sword, the natural bugs,enterobacteria, clostridia, yeasts and moulds that are present on the crop atharvest make the silage very prone to aerobic instability, frequently resultingin waste on the top and shoulders of the clamp, and heating silage duringfeedout. This in turn can lead to the other ingredients that the silage ismixed with going off faster than stock can eat the ration, resulting inreduced intakes and poor animal performance.
Asthe cost of bought in feed continues to rise it pays to explore new methods andproducts which improve home-grown feed and forage by eliminating heating andwastage.
Farmersthe length and breadth of the UK have found that new Safesil silagepreservative, a special blend of human food grade preservatives is a costeffective solution to overcome potentially expensive nutrient losses in maizesilage.
Unlikeinoculants, which claim to out-compete the natural bugs, that use up nutrientsduring fermentation and when silage is exposed to air, the human food gradepreservatives in Safesil eradicate them. This proven product from Kelvin Cave wipes out the unwanted organismsthat are responsible for the heating of silage at the clamp face and duringfeedout. By creating a good environment for lactic acid bacteria to achieve arapid reduction of pH, it eliminates the risk of butyric acid production, whichlowers the nutritional value and palatability of silage.
Theresult is a more rapid and hygienic fermentation, preventing DM and energyloss. Typically 5-6% more energy in thefeed sample is available, which can equate to 20+ more milk per tonne of freshsilage.
Extensivetrialling has shown that DM losses in the clamp are typically less than 2% withno sign of heating for 260 hours after the clamp face has been exposed to air.
Toremove the risk of aerobic instability and ensure that valuable crop nutritionthat farmers have worked hard to harvest ends up where it is supposed to be in the animal, a different approach to preserving maize silage this autumn is aworthy consideration. Applied correctly,the new maize preservative (Safesil) maximises nutrient retention, eradicatessilage spoilage organisms and guarantees prolonged storage stability, whichultimately results in more pounds in the farmers pocket!