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Practical information and guidance

Silage additive mixed in the harvester

Optimal effects from silage additives are best achieved if you follow these guidelines:

  • Use the recommended dosage in the whole silo
  • Distribute the silage additive evenly in the grass mass

The silage additive is only effective where it blends with the fodder. Uneven mixtures can give irregular effects. Bacteria grow within microscopic environments. If distribution of the product is poor you may see localized and unwanted fermentation, even if a silage additive was used. It is best to mix silage additive in the harvester (forage harvester). You will then see a good mixture inside the machine and when tipping from the wagon into the silo. Many of our customers want to add silage additive in the silo to avoid handling the agent on the ground. This may be done if you can distribute and mix it well into the grass after adding the agent. Mixing silage additive on the conveyor/transport (with a successive grass distributor in the silo) is a good solution. In this way a 200-litre barrel or a 1000-litre container stationed at the transporter can be used. Controlling the dosage can be difficult if the wagon does not unload evenly and cleanly. 

Many of our customers make a conscious choice to under-dose silage additive to save money. In the worst case, this can cause fodder to ferment incorrectly, and in any case weakens its effect. The ability of the silage additive to limit fermentation and thereby preserve sugar in fodder depends highly on the dosage. Some customers also tried saving money by dropping silage additive into the bottom of the silo, then increasing the dosage higher up the silo. Their assumption was that more acid higher in the process would distribute downwards into the silo. This process cannot be relied on, as the silage additive will follow the silage effluent, which finds the quickest and easiest way through the mass. This practice is logical, just as heat generation in grass is logical during addition, but this process controls fermentation very unevenly at the base and top of the silo. The bottom layer will have greater fermentation with a large amount of the fermentation product and very little sugar, leading in the worst case to incorrect fermentation (butyric acid). The top of the silo will show a better result if less fermentation occurs and there is more sugar present. The result will not be improved if the fodder is left at the bottom of the silo for a long time before use, as the fodder will have been exposed to a long fermentation period.

To avoid having to stop your machinery too often to change cans, Serigstad's Quatro System can be used to dissolve the product in the forage harvester (see image). This will allow you to use a hundred litres at a time.   
If you use a hay loader (pick-up wagon) you should consider the extent to which silage additive is distributed throughout the grass. If a crop is good and the blades of grass are thick, it will be difficult for the silage additive to soak effectively into the grass that is being lifted over the pick-up. In this case, the result is likely to be nothing more than a slight showering on the surface. If a crop is good, gear down the tractor and avoid compressing grass blades together in the same windrow.

Increase the dosage in the event of:

  • wet grass (the butyric acid bacteria enjoy a wet environment)

  • a lot of legumes (these resist acidification, high buffer capacity)

  • risk of soil intermixture

  • late addition

  • low sugar content in grass (overcast weather / rain / high temperatures)

Two significant advantages of GrasAAT Lacto compared with Formic Acid 85% are:

  • 1. better handling properties and,
  • 2. use of a product that is not subject to ADR regulations.
    Make sure you always have the EHS data sheet close at hand.