WHY IS BIO-SIL® SO USEFUL FOR THE PRODUCTION OF HIGH-QUALITY SILAGE?
Epiphytic lactic acid bacteria are naturally occurring and are found on the standing crop, the population on plants is very variable. On most crops and in particular on first cut grass and whole crop silage there is a wide variety of other undesirable micro-organisms such as yeasts and moulds (see table 1) along with the Lactobacillus plantarum bacteria.
Table 1: Microorganisms on the forage and their demands to develop
The ability of lactobacillus bacteria to rapidly produce large volumes of lactic acid varies widely and is not related to plant species or variety, maturity stage, or growing conditions. Therefore the volume of lactic acid produced from ensiled crops cannot be accurately predicted prior to ensiling. Using BIO-SIL® eliminates this uncertainty In about 80% of all silage crops the natural lactic acid bacteria population is not sufficient to achieve a fast drop of pH to a value which will inhibit the undesirable bacteria (in less than three days). This also applies to maize silage, despite maize being easily ensiled due to a high amount of fermentable carbohydrates. BIO-SIL® ensures the bacterial population is optimised to give rapid fermentation. The application of the specially selected active lactic acid bacteria in BIO-SIL® is an important addition for the production of top quality silage.
HOW LONG WILL THE MIXED INOCULANT REMAIN ACTIVE?
In the right conditions BIO-SIL® will remain fully effective for 72hrs after mixing. This is another benefit of the BIO-SIL® inoculant, providing flexibility if the harvest process is interrupted by bad weather or mechanical breakdowns. Not only is the inoculant still viable, but its effectiveness is even enhanced. The DLG approval scheme includes a one to two hour bacterial multiplication period and the test results and approval is based on this period. In tests where BIO-SIL® was allowed to multiply for 12 hours, there is a 20% increase in the bacterial activity and this is maintained for at least 72 hrs (see fig.2) This indicates that the bacterial solution can be used for at least three days without any reduction in efficacy. Practically this is very important, taking the pressure off the busy start of harvest period and allowing the silage to be harvested in the correct conditions. Care must be taken to ensure the temperature of the BIO-SIL® solution should not exceed 24°C over a long period.
Figure 2: Activity and number of lactic acid bacteria in the inoculant as a function of time after dissolved
WHY IS THE INOCULATION CONCENTRATION OF BIO-SIL® ONLY 300,000 CFU/G?
The inoculation concentration is vital for making successful silage, and also for the efficiency and activity of the lactic acid bacteria. There are thousands of different strains of lactic acid forming bacteria all with different properties and activities. When selecting, developing and producing the lactobacillus strains contained within BIO-SIL® only highly efficient strains were considered. Rapid lactic acid production across a broad range of crops was required. With careful why is the inoculation concentration of BIO-SIL® only selection the final strains were chosen due to their high activity under sub-optimum conditions. Physiological properties such as activity and rate of survival in the inoculant also play also a big role. Using the specific selected strains and our production technology BIO-SIL® can achieve the same, or an even better effect, than cultures with other strains at much higher concentrations. That is why the DLG quality mark has been granted for BIO-SIL® at these concentrations.
IS THE NUMBER OF BACTERIAL STRAINS OR SPECIES IMPORTANT FOR THE EFFICIENCY OF THE BACTERIAL CULTURES?
No. The effect of cultures has been tested and demonstrates that a high-performance strain of Lactobacillus plantarum achieves a better effect than a mixture of five different lactic acid forming strains.
WHY ARE HOMOFERMENTATIVE PREFERRED TO HETEROFERMENTATIVE LACTIC ACID BACTERIA?
With homofermentative bacteria a high feed intake can be achieved due to the lower amounts of acetic acid produced. Cows tend to be put off by the pungent smell of acetic acid reducing daily feed intakes. Furthermore, the homofermentatives show the smallest losses of dry matter.
IS THERE A POSITIVE EFFECT ON PROTEIN BY THE USE OF BIO-SIL®?
Yes, the protein degradation is lower, and therefore the protein quality of the silage is better. This is caused by the rapid decrease of pH (less than three days) which prevents the activity of the proteases.