The Tried & Tested Formula For Quality Grass Silage
22nd March 2019

Pictured: (L-R) Allen Jones, Technical Sales Specialist at Fane Valley Feeds with Co. Armagh Dairy Farmer, Keith Agnew.

In light of the recent shift in milk price, beef price and higher feed costs, the production of high quality forages should be one of a farmers’ top priorities in the coming season.

There has been a continued refocusing over recent years within the livestock industry to improve grass silage quality. It is appreciated by farmers that quality silage drives improved animal performance and profitability. One of the key factors in making profitable silage is a fast and effective fermentation when the grass is ensiled in the Clamp. PIONEER® 1188 Silage inoculant has been demonstrated to reduce dry matter losses from 20.5 % down to 16.4%. This reduction in dry matter losses equates to an extra 5% of silage available for feeding or five additional acres of grass for every 100 acres conserved.

Providing appropriate fertiliser is applied, grass is mowed at a six-week interval and wilted to 28-30% dry matter, then the next step is harvest and ensiling. Ensuring grass is buck raked in thin layers and properly compacted, then sealed and the cover weighed down, fermentation can begin. PIONEER® 1188 ensures a fast and efficient fermentation so that there is rapid lactic acid production to reach a stable pH as quickly as possible. A protracted fermentation in untreated silage results in sugar being inefficiently utilised. An extended fermentation also provides detrimental organisms such as clostridia and the opportunity to break down valuable proteins. Investing in a trialled and proven inoculant such as PIONEER® 1188 can make all the difference when it comes to feed out next winter and subsequent livestock performance.

Allen Jones, Technical Sales Specialist at Fane Valley Feeds explains:  “PIONEER® 1188 is a grass silage inoculant containing four strains of lacto-bacillus plantarum and two strains of enterococcus faecium. Applied as a liquid this multi-strain approach allows for a faster fermentation than an untreated pit. A quicker fermentation can deliver a 20% reduction of in-silo losses, a 46% reduction of ammonia content, a 3.5% increase in digestibility and a 50% increase of rumen microbial protein.” 

Allen also points out that the PIONEER®  range of silage inoculants have been trialled extensively both locally and across Europe, delivering consistent results that have given local farmers confidence to use the product year in, year out. 

Keith Agnew along with his son Josh milk 500 cows outside Mountnorris, Co. Armagh and use PIONEER®  inoculants annually on their silage and maize crops.   Keith said: “When investigating the merits of PIONEER®  I was quick to note the local trial work that was carried out at the Agricultural Research Institute of Northern Ireland (Hillsborough). They demonstrated that, even with a second cut silage at 32.5% dry matter, PIONEER® 1188 lifted milk yields by an impressive 1.45kgs per day. Whichever way I looked at it, PIONEER® 1188 was a great investment.  I now use PIONEER® additives on every crop and the return on investment is proven on my farm!”

Fane Valley Feeds are the Northern Ireland distributor for PIONEER® forage inoculants. For more information on the PIONEER® range of silage inoculants contact your local Representative today or call 028 8224 3221.