Saturday, November 27, 2021
HomeFarmweek NewsNarrow clamps for better maize silage

Narrow clamps for better maize silage

by Ken Stroud,

Volac NI silage specialist

TO avoid loss of valuable maize silage, that proven rocket fuel for dairy cows, use narrow clamps to cut the amount of open face exposed to air at feedout.

This also allows faster progression back through the clamp to stay ahead of air ingress, a key means of reducing maize losses from spoilage and heating.

Heating losses are caused by yeast and mould growth in the presence of air thus the more air you can keep out the better.

Similarly oxygen barrier films help because they are sucked down into the surface contours of the silage to minimise trapped air pockets. If possible try positioning clamp faces north facing! Then the sun will not be hitting them making heating even worse.

When it comes to additive use the beneficial bacteria strain Lactobacillus plant-arum MTD.1 in Ecosyl has been shown to cut dry matter losses by about half. With typical losses, even in well fermented, untreated clamps running at about 10 per cent this equates to saving around 5 per cent of total dry matter.

But what is also important to remember is that this 5 per cent is likely to be the more nutritious parts of the dry matter, such as sugar and starch. Not just the less nutritious fibre.

For maize and other drier silages the Volac additive Ecocool contains this same bacterial strain for improving fermentation as Ecosyl. Plus a second strain Lactobacillus buchneri PJB/1 for tackling heating and spoilage.

In this era of sustainability and making the business of farming pay you simply do not want any silage going to waste. It makes neither green nor business sense. So consider using a proven dual action additive.

n For free advice on using Ecosyl or Ecocool to protect your margins contact Volac NI silage specialist Ken Stroud tel; 077 1319 7084 or Volac Ecosyl distributors, John Thompson & Son Ltd tel; (028) 9035 1321.

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