Improving silage efficiency


Using a silage additive not only helps to prevent spoilage and maintain quality, but if you choose the right one you also get the added benefit of improved energy and a reduction in ketosis...


Improving silage efficiency

Supplying products with added value is one of the key aims for Advanced Nutrition, which is why we've looked into research on the Bonsilage Fit range for both grass and maize silage. The additive works by shifting the fermentation acid patterns to produce more acetic acid and propylene glycol which increases aerobic stability and gives some other benefits too.

Benefits Unique to BonSilage

The LAB quantities and strain combination in Bonsilage Fit has been optimised to achieve the best combination of lactic acid, acetic acid, and propylene glycol production in your silage. This takes benefits across the yard to your cow rather than just the benefits achieved in the silage clamp. Fast fermentation, reduced pH, stop yeast/mould growth, cool silage face & TMR etc. Plus; A Bonsilage Fit fermentation requires much less buffering than a straight lactic acid fermented silage leading to very palatable forage and reduced SARA, which may be enough to avoid feeding buffer products.

Table 1 shows how lactic acid and residual sugar have the largest effect on rumen pH. Lactic acid is obviously aiding good preservative and provides energy but, like sugars, it negatively impacts on rumen acidity. Residual sugars are a good source of energy, but they also have a negative impact on aerobic stability resulting in heating at feedout and in TMR. Bonsilage Fit converts sugars to lactic, and further coverts lactic to acetic acid and propylene glycol, all maintaining feed value and ME.

Table 1

Propylene Glycol
One of the big positive factors with the use of Bonsilage Fit is production of propylene glycol. Table 2 shows the average of 93 silage analyses for on farm pits last season.

 

Table 2

Average propylene glycol production at 2.59% DM at the average 35% DM in these silages equates to 9kg of propylene glycol/T FW. Propylene glycol costs circa £1.80/kg, this equates to £16.20/t FW. The propylene glycol might be used as a source of energy OR for preventing ketosis. If only 20% of cows get a benefit from propylene glycol, this still equates to £3.24/t FW.

 

Kestosis Prevention.
Scientists (Geishauser) estimate that 40% of cows experience subclinical ketosis, usually at the start of a lactation. This will cause them to lose 2l of milk/day for 2 weeks. Feeding Bonsilage Fit treated silage can help alleviate subclinical acidosis as seen in the Figure 1. The BHBA blood levels are pre- and post-calving for cows at Schaumanns’ Gut Hülsenberg research farm. They grey bar is cows fed the untreated silage and the blue bar is cows fed Bonsilage Fit treated silage. BHBA counts hardly changes for the Bonsilage Fit fed cows with higher levels of propylene glycol indicating reduced possibility of ketosis.

This reduction and the subsequent prevention of subclinical ketosis is worth £0.26/t FW for milk loss alone.
Also consider that cows which have subclinical ketosis are three times more likely to get clinical ketosis, three times more likely to have an LDA and calving interval is increased by an average of two weeks, all results in further financial loss. Why drench energy when you can feed it in your silage?


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