Evaluate Your Silage Program Before Planting

Proper ensiling is critical to producing high-quality silage. And now may be the best time to review your silage program. Forage specialist Caitlin Mellinger from Provita Supplements says different forages have different challenges when it comes to ensiling them, and talks about the biggest challenges when it comes to ensiling corn.

“The biggest issue actually comes in what we call the fourth phase of fermentation or the feed out phase, and that’s where reheating and spoilage are really common. And this is because oxygen is being reintroduced back into the silo and that allows my organisms like yeast and molds to wake up, and those degrade valuable nutrients causing heating and then eventually spoilage. The solution to this is having a well managed silage program and then using that in combination with a research proven inoculant which contains a heterofermentative lactic acid bacteria that would produce acetic acid and help to prevent those reheating issues that can happen during feed out.”

She encourages producers to start reviewing your silage program, both for planting and then before you start harvesting.

“You want to start before planting because you want to decide what hybrids you want. And then you want to also look at your program now and what’s happening in it and if there’s any things that need to be worked on, such as reheating or having aerobic stability issues. Typically, the solution for this was to use a inoculant that contained lactobacillus buchneri, because these microorganisms are able to degrade lactic acid and produce acetic acid which would inhibit spoilage during feed out. But unfortunately, this really takes six to eight weeks to happen when you use a lactobacillus Lactobacillus buchneri. But we’ve now discovered a new microorganism that will speed up this process.”

The new microorganism, Lactobacillus diolivorans, provides aerobic stability after only 14 days of ensiling.

“Lactobacillus diolivorans has a really unique metabolism that produces multiple metabolites that will help with aerobic stability. and so we’re able to get a really rapid and fast acidification. It will produce acetic acid formation in the front end of fermentation, rather than waiting that six to eight weeks. So, we’re able to actually see aerobic stability after only 14 days and styling versus that 6-8 weeks that we used to have to wait. It also produces other metabolites that will help other than citric acid like propionic acid and propanol.”

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