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Molasses - excellent for in troughs, but is it also an effective silage additive?

When silage conditions are not too good, the combination of lactic acid bacteria and molasses as silage additives is still often recommended to reliably ensile hard to ferment silage forage, such as low-sugar or polluted grass. Sometimes it is even suggested that molasses is converted virtually without any losses. If this were the case, this would mean that a biological form of perpetual motion has been discovered, justifying the awarding of the Nobel prize!

Enough theory. In practice, the results of using molasses are quite disappointing, particularly when compared to the high cost of using it. On the one hand, its effectiveness leaves a lot to be desired, whereas on the other hand it is simply not true that molasses is converted into lactic acid without any loss of energy.

This explains why major farms which silage thousands of tons of forage every year have turned away from this method. These farms cannot afford feed losses. And neither can you!

 

We advise against the use of molasses as a silage additive...

  • Due to the sugar contained in it, molasses also feeds the causative ingredients for butyric fermentation
  • Molasses inoculates the silage with yeasts (danger of aerobic deterioration!)
  • The sugar contained in the molasses is not only converted into lactic acid. The widely spread opinion that the energy content of silage can be increased by adding molasses is wrong! Trials do not confirm this opinion. Silage treated with molasses has a maximum 0.1 MJ NEL more energy per kilogram of dry matter than untreated silage of the same type. Using a good chemical silage additive instead of molasses increases the energy content by 0.2 - 0.3 MJ compared to untreated silage.
  • Molasses is expensive! When dosing 30 - 50 litres of molasses per ton of fresh crop, as is common, the cost is between 2 and 4 euros per ton. And all this molasses has to be brought out into the field to be able to apply it. A dosing volume of up to 50 litres of molasses per ton requires a considerable logistical effort.
  • To dose molasses you need separate bacteria and molasses dosers - and the latter is extremely expensive and requires a separately drawn tank wagon.
  • Forage cutters, tippers and tractors are severely polluted.
  • Molasses is too expensive, too costly to handle and its effects are too unreliable to justify its use as a silage additive.

 

...and we recommend the following alternatives:

  • Applying molasses to the mixed ration or to the trough (by pouring it over the feed) brings the energy contained in it into the feed without losses!
  • Hard to ferment forage should be ensiled with a reliable silage additive of mode of action 1a, such as KOFASIL PLUS GRANULAR or KOFASIL LIQUID. This will enable you to control the fermentation process, avoid butyric fermentation and minimise the loss of energy. A good dosing device is enough! Of course, these products are neither aggressive nor corrosive and they are definitely not hazardous substances!

Do not take any risks and do not experiment by yourself. Go for scientifically substantiated concepts such as those which form the basis of our tried and tested ADDCON silage additives.