Make great 2019 Silage by exploiting last year’s experience

Make great 2019 silage by exploiting last year’s experience…

As a test of your silage making and the performance of your chosen  additive (assuming you use one), you couldn’t design a year much tougher than 2018. In addition to making some of what you might call regular silage, probably in May at mid-20s percent dry matter, it is fairly commonplace for farms to have some much higher and lower dry matter material as well.

Over recent months, a number of customers with such different silages have made some useful observations that are worth keeping in mind when it comes to decisions in 2019.

Unwilted, ideal or haylage?

In particular, these are concerned with identifying the best additive  to use, depending on whether you’re making silage with unwilted grass, ‘ideal’ one-day-wilted 28% dry matter material, or 35%+ DM. The challenge with unwilted grass, of course, is a straightforward question of getting a rapid lactic acid fermentation to preserve the nutrient content with as little waste as possible.

Spoilage risks and how to minimise

For drier material, the picture is a bit more complicated due to the risk of aerobic spoilage (also known as secondary fermentation) at the open clamp face and in the feed trough. This is caused by moulds or yeasts, fungi or pathogenic* bacteria, all of which are present in most silages (*disease-causing, clostridia for example).

Not only do these spoilage organisms consume feed energy meant for your cows and generate heat, in some cases they also produce toxic by-products such as mycotoxins.

What many of us don’t realise is that some of these organisms can use lactic acid as an energy source… yes, the very same lactic acid that we want to preserve your silage in the first place. This means that not only do they produce unwanted byproducts, these spoilage agents can also undermine the silage’s original preservation.

Lactic acid may be essential, but also has limitations. Another lesser known fact is that lactic acid has weak inhibitory action against moulds, yeasts or fungi. This means a lactic-only fermentation – as promoted by single strain L plantarum – can potentially leave a clamp vulnerable to spoilage and waste, long before you put 2019 silage in front of the cows.

However, it is possible to minimise spoilage in the clamp and feed trough alike by generating a different preserving acid along with lactic.

The secret for STAYCOOL 2019 silage

A clue to this preservative’s identity can be found in your household  kitchen. Beetroot and gherkins, pickled onions or eggs, and Branston or piccalilli, all rely on the same thing: Vinegar – acid, which is a proven inhibitor of moulds and yeasts, fungi and pathogenic bacteria such as Clostridia.

OptiSile EXTRA is a unique formulation developed by Envirosystems of three Lactobacilli strains and manufactured at our UFAS and local authority registered facility.

Unique formulation available to UK farms

One strain is the widely used L plantarum, to promote the necessary lactic acid fermentation for rapid preservation when the clamp is filled. Along with this, a combination of two other lactobacilli – not available in any other UK silage additive – is included to generate good acid.

Together, this combination creates rapid initial preservation, high palatability and nutrient availability, and STAYCOOL stability at clamp face and in front of your cows.

Farmer-to-farmer comment

As you can see from the farmer’s endorsement here, this additive for-all-seasons really works. This inoculant performed seriously well even in 2018’s challenging conditions. Many other farmers using OptiSile have also reported the same thing, including when used on low dry matter autumn grass.

Special offer

To take advantage of this additive-for-all-seasons, with an early bird special deal offering big savings on your 2019 silage additive, please call our farm support team on 01772 860085 to discuss the best plan for your requirements.

Make great 2019 Silage by exploiting last year’s experience