Using additives on grassland silage can make a considerable difference to animal performance in terms of liveweight gains and litres of milk produced per cow. Although the silage making process can be explained very simply, it is actually very complex and dependant on many factors, such as the natural microbial population, harvesting conditions and the sugar content of the grass. Consequently, silage quality can be very variable.
However, the fermentation process, which converts sugar into the lactic acid that preserves the forage, can be effectively controlled by using an appropriate additive. By speeding up the fermentation less nutrients are lost during the process and so the silage has a higher feed value when compared to untreated forages. Also, by improving the fermentation and rapidly reaching a stable pH the risk of secondary fermentation from clostridial bacteria is minimised. Furthermore, the activity of yeasts and moulds which cause expensive losses due to aerobic spoilage is reduced.
The net result at feed-out should be well fermented, well preserved silage which improves animal performance, which in turn can reduce the cost of production and so improve margins. Further financial benefits are gained from reducing waste due to the activities of spoilage organisms. However, keep in mind that an additive cannot turn poor quality grass into good silage and that it is no substitute for good management! The silage additives supplied by Wynnstay are centred on two complimentary product ranges.
The Ecosyl range of silage additives has been developed over a period of 30 years and is based on the high performance Lactobacillus plantarum strain MTD/1. Wynnstay's own range is designed specifically for modern silage making techniques, it has been thoroughly researched and independently tested and contains products for clamp, big bale, maize and wholecrop.