So what is good silage?
You need to ask yourself what do you want? This maybe different in
differing farm circumstances. Early cut silages with high D values are
still vital in high performance herds even if fed with maize silage.
Cutting early in the season is the way to achieve this but problems
of wilting and fermentation can occur.
The above actual silage samples did not have any additives applied.
Are they good silages?
Samples A and B are typically low in crude protein and energy but what about the fermentation? They are dry silages so should not be a problem, but have a look at the fermentation characteristics. High Volatile Fatty Acids (VFA's) shows that some undesirable fermentation took place and lactic acid did not dominate the fermentation. At these dry matters Lactic Acid should be 50 - 60 gms and represent 70% of the total fermentation acids. In these cases the VFA are likely to be acetate, which will restrict intake. These silages will not be stable. Once opened they will suffer badly from aerobic spoilage and possible yeast action. This would be worsened by poor consolidatory bag / clamp management at feeding. These silages are unlikely to be stable, and could deteriorate further on the face once opened. Silage B at 40% dry matter and not very leafy, could be particularly prone to excessive yeast activity and face heating.
What about sample C?
This silage is quite wet but has a high Ph. This also has low levels of lactic acid, and butyric acid will dominate the VFA's, and the 3:1 ratio of VFA to Lactic Acid is the complete opposite of what is desired. The VFA's are likely to give an increased level of butyric acid. If we assume that there is 20 gms of butyric acid per kg DM and 10kg DM is fed of this silage this is 200 gms / day. This creates a very high risk situation of ketosis in the cow as well as reducing intakes significantly.
Perhaps sample D is what we are looking for:
Here is a silage with no likelihood of effluent at this dry matter, and obviously cut early with a higher energy level. Fermentation is perfect with a Lactic/Volatile ratio of 6:1. With short chop. Good compaction and sensible feed out regime this silage will stimulate high forage intake and optimum performance from a dairy or beef system. This is an Ecosyl treated silage.
Choice of Additive
You don't have to look far for the best product range, The UK company Ecosyl Products Ltd, based in Yorkshire were formally part of ICI and have led the market for many years with an ever developing range of products that are recognised the world over. In fact in 2007 Ecosyl Products were awarded the Queens Award for Industry. The 2 features that make this product range unique are the Proofs and Trial Work behind the product claims and an unblemished record on product quality with respect to bacterial counts, product shelf lifes and tank lifes. At GP we have no reservations in recommending the relevant Ecoproduct and there is also a superb range of EcoApplicators available.
ECOSYL Products offers a complete range of silage additives. They are designed to be 'task specific' rather than 'crop specific', ie they are formulated to deal with the specific problems associated with each crop type. It is not always necessary to have a different product for each crop. The unique MTD/1 strain has been proven over a wide range of crop types and no further fermentation / animal performance benefits have been found by adding other strains. Different numbers of MTD/1 bacteria may be applied to different crops, however, depending on the ensiling conditions, especially DM and sugar contents.
The new range of acid / inoculant hybrid all include a special formulation
of potassium sorbate which is a more reliable solution than an inoculant
for the problem of aerobic spoilage. They all still contain MTD/1
for added fermentation and animal performance benefits.
This additive brings together both an acid and inoculant hybrid in one. Designed for clamped grass silage where aerobic spoilage could be an issue for high dry matter grass, wide clamps, second cuts and buffer feeding. It gives all the fermentation and animal performance benefits of Ecosyl 100 plus improved aerobic stability.
ECOCORN Varicool allows you to apply the inoculant and chemical preservative separately for maximum flexibility and control of the spoilage risk. It also allows low volume addition of both the inoculant and the chemical preservative to reduce down time.
The mixing action of the TMR wagon aerates the diet, encouraging the growth of yeasts and moulds that cause aerobic spoilage (heating and moulding). High ambient temperatures in the summer make the problem worse if buffer feeding.
Ecosyl Products have won the 2007 Queens Award for Enterprise in support of Dairy Farmers globally.
Call the office on 01948 661602 to place your order.
Reference / Further Reading