Why should I use a silage additive?
It is very important that silage ferments rapidly as this preserves more true protein and minimises the activities of undesirable microorganisms. A natural silage fermentation is brought about by lactic acid bacteria (LAB) on the crop. However, they are often present in relatively low numbers and are not usually the best type of LAB for bringing about a rapid and efficient fermentation so fermentation will be slow, require more sugars and lead to higher losses. Silage inoculants apply high numbers of specially selected LAB that will dominate the natural LAB and bring about a faster, most efficient fermentation. Some inoculants have also been proven to bring about animal performance benefits.
Silage additives (inoculants and chemical preservatives) that inhibit the yeasts and moulds that cause aerobic spoilage are also available.
Silage additives can offer a number of benefits but you need to make sure you use the right one for the job and ask to see independent evidence to show it has been proven to work, otherwise you could waste your money.
Potential benefits from additives:
• More efficient
Reduce DM Losses
• Aerobic spoilage
Improve Animal Performance
• Increased DM intake
• Increased digestibility
Remember – an additive is not a substitute for good management.