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Basis / Fundamental Principles

Schlepper mit Seiten-Maehwerk


Reliably generating top-quality grass silage is a vital precondition for competitive milk and animal production. In spite of major advances in the silage technology, silage quality is often unsatisfactory.

Approximately one third of all grass silage still suffers from butyric fermentation. This butyric fermentation decreases the nutritional value of the silage, the feed intake by the animals and, as a result, the feed efficiency. As a rule, this type of silage has a high Clostridia spore (creators of butyric acid) count, which can greatly harm the silage quality.

Since wilting the forage crop reduces the risk of butyric fermentation and the release of environmentally harmful silage effluent, wilting should be made use of wherever possible. However, practice has shown that wilting in itself is not enough. The grass does not wilt fast enough in all kinds of weather. Expanding the wilting time to more than 1 or 2 days often causes more harm.

Field losses for different weather conditions (grass)



Bringing in
after .. nights 


Turning /




wet silage  








wet silage  









Harvester on a field

The nutritional value of the silage forage is affected, the sugar content decreases and the microbial status of the silage is worsened. In addition, animal slurry application and even the slightest pollution of the crop during harvesting may easily result in high Clostridia spore counts in the silage material. And although this crop may have wilted sufficiently this will result in silage fodder which will not enable high-quality milk to be produced.

To help solving these problems in practice, the concept of wilting for a short period, combined with adding a silage additive developed specifically for this purpose, was born. This has resulted in the strategy of no longer limiting the use of silage additives to problem situations, but to plan them as a standard element of the preservation procedure.

The highest objective of this strategy is to ensure optimum silage quality. The following requirements have to be met for a suitable silage additive, i.e. a "safety additive" in the true sense:

  • The working method of the additive must be compatible with the wilting method. These two measures must work in synergy and complement each other.
  • The additive must not only prevent butyric fermentation and the propagation of Clostridia in the silo, but it must also neutralise the Clostridia spores which already exist in the silage.
  • An absolutely even distribution of the additive is a precondition to ensure its effect.

This objective can be achieved with a combination of ingredients, as has been used successfully for quite some time in the dry preparation KOFASIL PLUS GRANULAR. This experience instigated long-term research which eventually resulted in an optimised liquid preparation being developed. It is called KOFASIL LIQUID.

KOFASIL PLUS GRANULAR, which can be spread, and KOFASIL LIQUID are combinations of active ingredients, containing sodium nitrite and hexamethylentetramine. Contrary to formic acid and other acid-based additives, both the dry preparation KOFASIL PLUS GRANULAR as well as KOFASIL LIQUID are neither corrosive nor caustic and, as a result, very easy to handle. They are dosed using generally available dosing devices for powder or liquid preparations (we recommend the Silaspray dosing devices and would be happy to send you some brochures).

KOFASIL PLUS Granular and KOFASIL LIQUID are used for silaging:

  • meadow and mowing field grass
  • forage grasses 
  • clover grass and alfalfa grass mixtures
  • green rye and green oats
  • leguminous plants.


can be equal to increasing the dry matter content by 14 %. This enables forage crops requiring a dry matter content of at least 32 % to prevent butyric fermentation to be ensiled without risks if their dry matter content is only 18 %.

Easy and medium-hard to silage forage crops, such as e.g. grass crops with a high share of ryegrasses, can be silaged immediately, without wilting, by adding KOFASIL PLUS GRANULAR or KOFASIL LIQUID. Light wilting is sufficient for hard to ferment forage crop.

Wilting for a short time can also have its advantages for other reasons. The dry matter content of the wilted silage crop is always subject to variations. The more the crop has wilted, the greater the variations will be. Butyric fermentation always starts at the most humid parts of the feed. The high dry matter content in the total silo does not play any role. The combination of wilting and adding KOFASIL® LIQUID can reliably eliminate this problem, which also makes this silage additive useful in combination with forage with a medium degree of wilting.

This strategy enables grass silage to be prepared virtually independent of the weather and much more easily than before.

The basic principles are:

  • mowing in time, at the optimum cutting time, virtually independent of the weather conditions,
  • using all technical possibilities for quick wilting, but limiting the wilting time to 1 or 2 days,
  • ensiling the forage after this time, independently of the dry matter content achieved, but adding KOFASIL PLUS or KOFASIL LIQUID.

KOFASIL PLUS GRANULAR and KOFASIL LIQUID have been tested in extensive laboratory, pilot and practical trials. Nowadays they are among the most carefully tested silage additives.


Contrary to many other producers, we do not base our doses on the dry matter content of the harvested crop, but on its quality, since this is critical for the silage result. Top-quality harvested crop (rye-grass, 1st cut; harvested clean and exactly at the optimum cutting time) requires relatively little silage additive. Two kg of KOFASIL PLUS GRANULAR or two litres of KOFASIL LIQUID are absolutely sufficient, since competition from other bacteria is slight here. The dose for average qualities must be increased to approx. 2.5 kg of KOFASIL PLUS GRANULAR or 2.5 litres of KOFASIL LIQUID. To achieve a reliable silage result with moderate to poor-quality crops, the full dosing volume of 3 kg of KOFASIL PLUS GRANULAR or 3 litres of KOFASIL LIQUID is required.


  • DLG-approved and reliable silage additives to control the natural fermentation process
  • High silage quality, even if sufficient wilting is not possible
  • Correct the process where nature does not offer sufficient guarantees of an optimum silage quality
  • Timely mowing at the optimum cutting time - independent of the weather conditions
  • Planned and effective use of harvesting machines
  • Maximum 1-2 days of wilting and ensiling regardless of the dry matter content reached
  • Prevent butyric fermentation
  • Always a uniformly high silage quality
  • Neither aggressive, nor corrosive; not a hazardous substance.
  • When kept in its sealed original container, KOFASIL LIQUID has an indefinite shelf life
  • KOFASIL PLUS is a dustfree granulate which can be applied perfectly with any Gandy dosing device.

Maize silage


Due to its high yield potential and good fermentability, silo maize is the dominant feed crop in Germany. Its energy can be utilised much more effectively than that of grass silage, enabling feed costs to be lowered. Because silo maize harvested at the right time contains plenty of easily digestible maize starch, it is a true high-performance feed for milk and beef production.

Although silo maize is easy to silage, well fermented silo maize, CCM and maize ear silages have a high tendency of aerobic deterioration and moulding on their cutting surface. The resulting losses affect the cost benefits of such silages compared to grass silage. But rest assured, this can be avoided!

Silaging measures to ensure the quality of maize silage can also effectively control the problem of "secondary fermentation". There are two preconditions for this: knowledge of the causes of this problem and an accurate analysis of the maize silaging procedure applied.

The following problems occur in connection with secondary fermentation:

  • heating up and moulding of the silo cutting surface
  • high nutritional energy losses
  • lower feed intake / high feed residues
  • lower silage forage performance
  • Animals suffering from metabolic disorders due to mycotoxins



 are effective silage additives to reduce the great number of yeasts and moulds which are initially present in maize and which cause secondary fermentation. Contrary to frequently used acids, the active ingredients in MAIZE KOFASIL are not corrosive and can be handled safely. They do not affect the harvesting and transport equipment. The active ingredients suppress yeast, bacteria and mould growth in a controlled manner and prevent losses due to secondary in-silo fermentation. MAIZE KOFASIL prevents the risk of mycotoxins being generated by moulds. It does not affect the desired lactic acid development process.  

Application and dosing

The product can be applied using generally available dosing devices for preparations in powder or liquid form (we recommend SILASPRAY dosing equipment, ).

An optimum guarantee of success can only be achieved if the entire maize silo is treated (dosing volume 2-3 kg/t or 3.5-4.5 l/t). If the problem zones (yeast and moulds) in the maize silo are typically in the peripheral layers, treating the surface with MAIZE KOFASIL GRANULAR or MAIZE KOFASIL LIQUID may also be effective. In that case, at least the upper third part of the silo must be treated in accordance with the usage instructions.

Basic silaging principles

A pre-condition for obtaining high-quality silage is that some basic silaging principles should be observed. These are described below in brief. The starting point is a selection of species in keeping with the specific location. The objective is to achieve basic material which is rich in dry matter, i.e. a dry matter content of 28-32% for the whole plant. Since the nutritional value is in the cob, the harvesting equipment must be adjusted such that virtually all cobs are harvested and collected, and that all kernels are struck and the degree of dirty or withered plant matter is minimised.

Increasing the cutting height to 30 cm decreases the amount of bacteria in the silage and has a positive effect on the energy density in the silo. Chopping the silaged crop to short lengths (4-6 mm) and preparing the kernels improves the silage compaction and brings forward the start of lactic acid fermentation. Silo filling must proceed quickly, paying attention to sufficient silage compaction. Topping up the silo endangers its stability and the silo must not be opened during the main fermentation phase (approx.14 days). The silo must be completely covered to ensure that it is fully sealed to the air. Weighting down the silo wrap with earth prevents it being disturbed and displaced by the wind.

However, as is the case with all biological processes it will never be possible to comply with all silage parameters at the same time. There will always be a residual risk with silo maize, specifically due to the presence of the many yeasts and moulds.

MAIZE KOFASIL GRANULAR and MAIZE KOFASIL LIQUID minimise this residual risk and help to ensure that the eventual silage is of the high quality required.

  • These DLG-tested, effective and reliable silage additives improve aerobic stability
  • The active ingredients are safe and convenient to handle
  • They suppress yeast, bacteria and mould growth in a targeted manner, preventing high-loss secondary fermentation processes in the silo
  • Thus they eliminate the risk of mycotoxins being produced by moulds

What does this mean in practice:

  • stable maize silage, even with summer feeding
  • considerably lower feed-out losses
  • more high-quality maize silage all the way into the animal house
  • no moulded silage
  • higher feed intake
  • the animals are not endangered
  • less natural risk when preparing the silage



Which bacteria enable faster silage: dried, frozen or fresh ones?

Thanks to the results of recent scientific trials this question can now be answered beyond any doubt: fresh lactic acid bacteria. The main thing with silaging is to induce lactic acid fermentation as soon as possible and to avoid butyric fermentation. Only then can the nutritional value contained in the forage be preserved virtually without any losses. By adding fresh culture preparations, i.e. already active lactic acid bacteria, the pH value of the silage is lowered to the lowest level possible as rapidly as possible. KOFASIL LIFE can do just that. Traditional preparations require a certain period for the cooled or dried lactic acid bacteria to reach their full vitality again. Time in which valuable nutritional energy is lost.

The advantages of KOFASIL LIFE

KOFASIL LIFE, available as a fresh culture in 5 or 26-litre cans, can be supplied by means of a special delivery service and is intended for immediate use. The benefits of fresh bacterial cultures speak for themselves:

  • KOFASIL LIFE is ready for use
  • KOFASIL LIFE lowers the pH value super fast
  • KOFASIL LIFE inhibits the development of elements which negatively affect fermentation
  • KOFASIL LIFE ensures high-energy silage
  • KOFASIL LIFE improves the storage stability
  • KOFASIL LIFE is available at a price which had never been thought feasible
  • KOFASIL LIFE is delivered to any farm within 48 hours through a fresh delivery service
  • KOFASIL LIFE has DLG approval seals 1b, 1c and 4b


KOFASIL LIFE contains the following bacteria strains:

  • L. plantarum (DSM 3676 and 3677)
  • P. bacterium (DSM 9576 and 9477)


The 5-litre can is sufficient for 75 t of fresh matter (grass, leguminous plants etc.); the 26-litre can is sufficient for 390 t of fresh matter.

Application and dosing

KOFASIL LIFE is produced ready for use in our factory. The farmer only has to dilute the ready-to-use solution with water as indicated in the instructions. This makes us the first silage additive producer to deliver freshly propagated, live cultures directly to farms, without any third-party involvement or intermediate storage.

KOFASIL LIFE is also available as a self-cultivation preparation in a 5-litre ? can, enabling users to prepare a ready-to-use solution within 48 hours. Refill bags are also available.

KOFASIL LIFE can only be applied to the harvested crop using suitable liquid dosing devices in the dosing volumes recommended by us. The actual dosing capacity and accuracy of the dosing units must be verified before use to make sure that they allow the prescribed volumes to be dosed. If the forage harvester capacity is 10 tons an hour, the device must be able to dose at least 20 litres of KOFASIL LIFE.


The new biological silage additive to prevent in-silo fermentation and moulds in all maize silos.

Biological silage additives have recently gained popularity as suitable media to improve the fermentation quality of grass silage. In the past farmers used to be quite hesitant about using this process for maize silage for two good reasons:

  1. maize silage acidifies quite rapidly by itself; also without adding lactic acid bacteria
  2. maize silage kept being affected by moulding and aerobic deterioration (specifically in the summer) and the homofermentative lactic acid bacteria which used to be used could not do very much about this.

For some time now, producers have been offering biological silage additives which also contain a heterofermentative strain in addition to their "normal" homofermentative lactic acid bacteria. The heterofermentative bacteria convert vegetable sugar into lactic acid, as well as into CO2, acetic acid and alcohol. This means that in addition to increasing the production of lactic acids, these products also cause acetic acid to be formed, which substantially improves the stability of the silages. But there is one drawback: the preparations (e.g. L. Buchneri) which are commonly marketed have no natural "brake". They continue to produce acetic acids for as long as there are lactic acids and other suitable substrates. This may lead to increased acetic acid content in the feed ration, which seriously affects feed intake.

Although this improves the silage quality it also worsens its taste and the feed intake by the animals.

The lactic acid bacteria strain used in KOFASIL LIFE "M" is an inoculation culture specially selected for silage preparation from over 200 different heterofermentative strains. The patented strain (DSM 13573) differs from other products on the market in that it has very high acid tolerance - i.e. it can also multiply in the presence of very rapidly acidifying lactic acid bacteria. The creation of acetic acid by this strain is restricted - i.e. only a slight quantity of acetic acids is formed as required for the stability of the silage - without any risk of excessive acetic acid values worsening the acceptance of the feed. The strain also has good osmotolerance, making it suitable for use in silages with relatively high dry matter content.

KOFASIL LIFE "M" is offered in 5-litre cans which are sufficient to treat 100 tons of maize silage. Prepare KOFASIL LIFE "M" no later than 48 hours before the start of silaging by filling the can with approx. 5 litres of lukewarm tap water (20-22°C) until 1 cm below the lid and shaking it until the culture medium constituents have dissolved. The solution will get a violet colour. Loosely tighten the lid (pressure compensation must still be possible; bacteria produce some CO2) and leave it at room temperature (19-21 °C). Thoroughly shake the can contents repeatedly while the preparation is left to develop!

If the above temperature range is observed, the solution clearly turns yellow after 15 to 20 hours, indicating the start of the concentration phase. The minimum inoculation density of approx. 100,000 lactic acid bacteria / g of silage is achieved after a total cultivation time of approx. 48 hours.

Diluting the concentrate:

Dilute the prepared concentrate (5 litres) with 195 litres of water just before the start of silaging to create a ready-to-use solution.


We recommend dosing at least 1.5 to 2 litres of the ready-to-use solution per ton of silage. The use of suitable dosing devices is absolutely vital for this.

The diluted, ready-to-use solution must be used up within 24 hours.

KOFASIL LIFE "M" enables 80 % of all maize silages to be protected safely against moulds and aerobic deterioration.