Do I need an additive with bales?
With baled silage, fermentation is slower and restricted due to the longer chop length and the higher DM of the grass. There can also be a lot of variability between individual bales, especially if the grass sward varies across the field; in a clamp such variability gets evened out to a large extent.
Bales are also more susceptible to aerobic spoilage due to their high DM and large surface area to volume ratio – 27% of the volume of a 4 foot bale is in the outer 5 cm. They are also less dense compared to clamped silage, although improvements in balers have meant densities have been much increased over the years.
Another issue with bales is their susceptibility to growth of Listeria bacteria due to their higher pH and increased risk of aerobic spoilage. Listeria only need a small amount of air infiltration, eg from pierced wrap, to be able to grow.
They can benefit greatly from application of an additive that will make the fermentation faster and more efficient as well as reduce the risk of aerobic spoilage.