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A good year for Maize growers

In most cases maize growers will experience the benefits of a bumper crop this year, thanks to the growing conditions experienced throughout the growing season. Processed maize grain has a superior nutritive value compared to barley. It is one of the most complementary feeds to grass silage as it is high in starch and fibre and is slowly digested in the rumen.

This all bodes well, however the fundamental step in ensuring the quality in the field makes it to feedout, rests in the ensiling process.

Optimising quality maize silage

Natural fermentation will waste energy and protein, and leave maize silage prone to spoilage. Technical Director at Agritech, Seamus O’Slatarra outlines some crucial steps to optimising the quality of maize silage, “Target harvesting when dry matter is 32-35% and the grain is at the hard cheese stage. Avoid an over ripe late crop as you risk higher contamination from moulds and yeasts from the leaves of the maize, leading to increased mycotoxins, spoilage and heat losses in the pit.

“Apply a good quality preservative such as Ensile Bio to ensure a rapid cool fermentation. Ensile-Bio inhibits spoilage organisms to produce a cool silage which is stable and highly palatable leading to maximum production. It increases clamp stability by around 3 days, reduces losses, increases palatability, inhibits mycotoxin producing moulds and improves fermentation. Average dry matter losses in maize silage of between 8-15% can be reduced to 3-7% with effective use of an additive.”

Good clamp management; consolidation and sealing sides with overlap using barrier film as the under layer will all help in maximising retained energy within the pit, according to Seamus.

For ease of application, Ensile Bio is available as granular powder or sachet for liquid application, from Agritech distributors throughout Ireland.

Go to www.agritech.ie/find-a-distributor or find out more about Ensile Bio by clicking www.agritech.ie/forage-additives/ensil-bio

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