What Should I Consider When Ensiling Maize and Wholecrop Cereals
When ensiling both maize and whole crop there are similar considerations:
- Fermentation losses are ‘invisible’ and in well-fermented silages, the fermentation process can account for 10% of the harvested dry matter being lost. In silages where the fermentation process has been less efficient these losses in dry matter can be substantially higher than 10%
- Maize, and to an even greater extent whole crop cereals, are prone to aerobic stability issues resulting in DM losses due to heating in the clamp. The better consolidated these silages are, the lower the losses.
Some additives are concerned solely with aerobic stability and whilst it is important to address these issues, the savings that can be made by improving the efficiency of the fermentation are even greater. The best approach is to use a good quality additive that tackles both aspects. The aim should be to effectively reduce the ‘invisible’ fermentation losses whilst at the same time reducing more obvious losses due to heating in the clamp. Ecosyl additives such as Ecocool have been shown to typically reduce the fermentation losses by half and also to improve aerobic stability, keeping the silage cooler for longer. In addition, the Ecosyl range has a considerable weight of evidence from independent feeding trials which demonstrate improved animal performance for dairy, beef and sheep.