Research and development
At Ecosyl, we’re leading the way in the research and development of new technologies and management techniques which aim to improve the efficiency of animal production from forage.
Our research group was originally set up by Dr Terry Owen, a specialist in microbiology and forage science.
Now the team of forage researchers is lead by Philip Jones at our new Research and Develoment Facilities in Port Talbot, Wales, collaborating with universities, colleges and research institutes in the UK and around the world.
A long tradition of research and development traces back to our origin as part of ICI Agriculture and the same principles of developing proven, cost effective products still holds true today.
We actively encourage the independent authentication of research through its publication in the scientific press. Our aim is to ensure easy access to any research involving our products. We also provide briefings, dossiers, publications and advice to researchers, advisors, farmers and the agricultural media.
During our many years of research and development, we have developed important advances and world leading expertise in five key areas of technology:
- Continuous culture
- Bacterial stabilisation
- ULV application
The Research Group has several areas of focus:
- Quality control: ensuring our current products meet specification.
- Product formulation: reviewing product components to ensure they meet the high quality standards we set for our product range.
- Product development: developing novel bacterial systems from conception to product launch.
- New strain selection: finding and developing new strains of silage bacteria with novel properties.
Our most recent products, launched as a result of our near market research and development activity are:
- Ecosyl 100 and the Ecosyler applicator
- Ecosyl ULV
- Double Action (DA) products
Our most recent research development has been Ecocool which combines two elite strains of bacteria; Lactobacillus plantarum strain MTD/1 for improved fermentation and Lactobacillus buchneri strain PJB/1 for improved aerobic stability. This inoculant can be applied at any rate from ULV(20 ml/t) to standard (2 litres/t).
In response to contractors’ demand for lower volume application we to minimise downtime, our expertise in formulation technology led to the development of the Ecosyl ULV system. Our team were able to provide an Ecosyl formulation that could be made up highly concentrated to apply 1 million bacteria/g forage at rates as low as 10 ml/t without any loss in bacterial viability for up to 3 days. Ecosyl ULV was the first inoculant to be able to do this.
A special highly accurate ULV applicator, the Ecosyler, was also developed which allowed contractors to work all day on a single fill.
This system was developed further with the launch of Ecosyl 100 which allowed application of Ecosyl at any rate from 20 ml/t to 2 litres/t, offering further flexibility.
Higher grass silage dry matters as well as more use of maize and wholecrop cereals meant that aerobic spoilage became an increasing issue which we recognised early on and addressed with the launch of our DoubleAction range. This provides improvements in fermentation and animal performance from Lactobacillus plantarum MTD/1 as well as improved aerobic stability from potassium sorbate chemical preservative. Unusually, the inoculant can be applied at the same time as the chemical due to the protection afforded to the bacteria by DoubleAction Technology, making these additives very easy to use.’
A further development of the DA range, Varicool, applies the inoculant and chemical separately, both at low volume. This allows more flexible application of the sorbate preservative, depending on the risk of aerobic spoilage to the clamp.
Increased aeration of feed due to the use of TMR wagons has led to feed going off faster in the feed trough. This led us to develop EcoTMR which combines two well-known chemical preservatives, potassium sorbate and sodium propionate, for improved TMR aerobic stability in the feed trough.’
The research summaries listed here are generated by Volac's forage scientists. They are a précis of the work carried out both inside the company and at research institutes or Universities. Please contact us if you would like a copy.
- Ecosyl trials summary
- Ecosyl trials summary - short
- Ecosyl beef trialssummary
- LEGSIL trials summary
- Ecosyl and wet silages
- Ecosyl and high DM silages
- Ecosyl lucerne trials summary
We believe it is important that we can back up our claims through independent trials. The research papers listed below are only a sample of the background work on our products.
The following list of references represents only a selection from the extensive list of independent research reported on our products, most of which is published. Copies are available on request - please contact us for a copy.