Secure your Silage with Biotal Biological Inoculant

Secure your Silage with Biotal Biological Inoculant

Many people see no need for inoculants and if they do, only in poor weather conditions. However inoculants still have a lot to offer in "normal" conditions.

Specialist Nutrition
Many people see no need for inoculants and if they do, only in poor weather conditions. However inoculants still have a lot to offer in "normal" conditions according to Michael Davey, Nutritionist with Specialist Nutrition.

'Depending on the conditions the challenge will be very different. As a result a "one size fits all approach" is ineffective' says Michael.

In wet conditions a larger and faster drop in pH is needed to avoid undesirable bacteria getting established. Biotal inoculant Axphast contains a battery of good bacteria to rapidly stabilise low dry matter silage and keep silage palatable. Not only will the intakes improve but it will feed better too. Michael says 'Axphast also contains a targeted enzyme to reduce effluent by up to 30%. This enzyme increases digestibility as well as freeing sugar from the fibre which will act as fuel for the good bugs in situations where sugar levels are below target.'

In "normal conditions" it is true that the naturally occurring bacteria can stabilise a clamp. However there is still something to be gained from using an inoculant. Michael says, 'Mother Nature will often take longer to stabilise a pit. An inoculant will add billions of good bacteria to immediately outnumber the undesirable bacteria. So using an appropriate inoculant will result in a more stable pit and use up less of the harvested crop in doing so - yes, even in "normal conditions" ! The proportion of crude protein that is good quality and of use to the animal will be greater having used an inoculant because it would not be degraded in a drawn out fermentation. In these "normal conditions" the product of choice would be Supersile'.

Michael explains, 'with very dry grass the main challenge is one of aerobic stability. Too often we see ideal dry grass going into a pit only to find heating and mould on opening the clamp and it will often heat again in the trough. When you consider how much energy it takes to boil a kettle let alone heat a swimming pool its easy to see that this heating represents a serious energy loss. In addition, intakes will be reduced and mould can be an issue.'

Michael recommends Axcool in high dry matter situations. While it contains bugs to aid fermentation and the enzymes to increase DMD, it also contains a specialist high dry matter bacteria recognised by the European authority. This bug produces a powerful antimicrobial compound which helps to prevent heating and moulding. Better intakes of a higher energy silage will result in healthier and more productive dairy, beef and sheep herds.

Brothers, Daniel and David Drum are dairy and beef farmers in Delvin, Co. Westmeath. Between them they grow a variety of forage crops such as Italian Rye grass, Fodder Beet, Wheat, Barley and Forage Maize. All crops are used in rotation along with reseeding and management of their grazing platforms.

The Drum Brothers have been using Biotal forage treatments Supersile and Axcool for the last 8 years for grass silage. David says 'We use our own silage equipment to make grass silage, this ensuring complete control and allows us to produce the best quality feed, while incorporating Biotal inoculants to maximise preservation and quality and controlling the individual clamp faces at feed out'. Daniel concludes, 'we have used other products available on the market but nothing seems comparable to Biotal inoculants and the backup service available from Specialist Nutrition'.

For more information contact on Biotal Inoculants contact any member of the Specialist Nutrition team on 051 833071 or call Nutritionist Michael Davey on 086 0242261.