Ensiling of forage has long been undertaken to preserve the nutrients present at harvesting. Thanks to the fermentation process, bacteria present into forage convert plant sugars into lactic acids to preserve the maximum amount of nutrient from the fresh forage.
In reality, silage fermentation is not always easy. Many parameters influence fermentation process, starting with the type of crop to ensile. Indeed, desired Dry Matter (DM) can be much different from a crop to another.
Other key parameters are hardly predictable such as:
- Weather at harvest: Even if weather forecasts are more and more accurate, risks still remain.
- Microbiological factors: Crops naturally have bacterial population. Nevertheless, the profile of this population can differ very much and impact the fermentation profile.
- Physical variable: chop length, wilting time and so on can damage or increase spoilage organisms if they are not well done.
- Human/ equipment factors: Human mistakes can happen and machinery can break down. Parameters such as time of ensiling or level of compaction can be impacted
We all know what can be the consequences of bad silage on cattle health, production and on farm profitability. Silage inoculant is an option to protect silage from those risks.
The use of an inoculant can dramatically improve the rate and efficiency of fermentation. It reduces DM losses and result in more stable silage that is more digestible, with more nutrients and proteins to maintain milk production potential.