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There’s a very good reason for preserving beetroot, onions or eggs by pickling in vinegar, explains Envirosystems microbiologist Dr David Adimpong.

“Its active ingredient, vinegar (acid), inhibits moulds and other organisms that otherwise would cause spoilage and rotting,” he says.

“The parallel in silage is exact. It is moulds and other spoilage organisms that cause silage to heat up at the open clamp face and feed trough, commonly called secondary fermentation. This can be inhibited by an inoculant that generates vinegar (acid) in the clamp as well as lactic acid.”

The result is what we call the STAYCOOL EFFECT. Without this, independent research published in the respected peer-reviewed journal Applied Environmental Microbiology identifies that a rapid lactic acid fermentation when you fill the clamp is not enough on its own to prevent secondary fermentation

[ref 1: H Danner et al, 2003. Acid Increases Stability of Silage under Aerobic Conditions. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2003 Jan; 69(1): 562–567]

Triple-action explained

Based on this, Dr Adimpong developed a TRIPLE-ACTION inoculant that contains not one but  three bacterial strains, each with different and compatible modes of action.

“The unique combination of bacterial strains in OptiSile additives generates both lactic and vinegar – acid in the clamp,” he explains. “This inhibits spoilage organisms throughout storage, keeping the clamp face and silage in the trough stable and cool.

“Otherwise, of course, silage that heats up means feed value and money are being lost into thin air.”

So this ‘Triple-Action STAYCOOL EFFECT’ has a big part to play in exploiting the full feed value of silage with minimal waste.

The research report also states that using inoculants producing only lactic acid, “leads to silages which have low stability against aerobic deterioration.”

By the way, ‘aerobic deterioration’ is the scientific description preferred by researchers for secondary fermentation.

Low or high dry matters, suits all weathers

From the evaluation stage to right now, we keep hearing from farmers who’ve used this inoculant that their silage remains cool and fresh during feed out, even at higher than normal dry matters.

At the other extreme, it also has a good record in low dry matter silages, made in tricky weather.

This inoculant called OptiSile EXTRA is made in our own manufacturing unit here in Lancashire. Competitive early deals are now available.

Planning for wholecrop and maize

Planning ahead for wholecrop and maize, these principles apply equally or even more so.

In wholecrop, everyone growing it knows how it can be difficult to consolidate. When this happens, air pockets can allow moulds and other spoilage organisms to multiply, producing mycotoxins and waiting patiently to continue their mischief when the clamp is opened.

To prevent this, OptiSile WHOLECROP also employs a Triple-Action bacterial combination.

Maize, of course, is highly prone to heating due to its high starch content, which not only feeds the mould spores that settle onto the face from the air, but also attracts birds and fruit flies.

Farmers using OptiSile MAIZE report bird and insectfree clamp faces that stay cool even on warm autumn and winter days.