It is proven in research trials and at farm level to improve silage fermentation resulting in higher quality feed that delivers better animal performance.
The end result is that every euro spent on treating silage with Ecosyl gives a return of at least €3 in increased milk yield and animal performance.
Manufactured by Volac, Ecosyl contains the unique MTD/1 strain of the lactic acid bacteria Lactobacillus plantarum.
It also contains the bacteria Pediococcus pentosaceus and potassium sorbate, a safe, non-corrosive food and feed-approved preservative.
It is guaranteed to deliver one million of these unique MTD/1 bacteria per gramme of grass, leading to a rapid fall in the pH of the silage, thereby bringing about fast, efficient fermentation.
In more than 20 independent trials, Ecosyl was shown to increase silage digestibility by an average of three units.
Teagasc research has shown that each one unit increase in digestibility increases silage dry matter intake of beef and dairy animals by 1.5%.
This results in increased milk yield in dairy cows of 0.37 litres/day and increased carcase gain in finishing beef animals of 28g/day.
Silage dry matter intake is a key determinant of animal performance. This is another area where Ecosyl treatment scores.
More than 30 independent trials have shown that Ecosyl treatment led to an increase of 5% in silage dry matter intake by animals.
While silage analysis is helpful in giving a guideline on silage quality, it is not a reliable indicator of animal performance, as there are many other factors that are not determined.
Therefore, the only way to prove an additive can improve animal performance is to do full-scale feeding trials. And this is where Ecosyl really comes out on top in terms of improving milk yield and lifting liveweight gain.
Fifteen independent trials, covering a wide range of dry matters and ensiling methods, showed that Ecosyl treatment led to an increase in milk production of 1.2litres/cow/day.
Some 20 further independent trials showed that Ecosyl-treated silage gave an increase of 15% in daily liveweight gain in growing animals and an increased carcase gain of almost 10% in finishing animals.
Teagasc research has shown over 40% of the available grass dry matter is lost during harvesting, storage and feed-out.
Therefore, management systems that reduce these losses, including the use of a proven additive, impact greatly on the cost and efficiency of silage making.
Here, again, the benefits of Ecosyl are well proven.
In 28 independent trials, Ecosyl treatment has been shown to give an increase of 50% in dry matter recovery. This amounts to an extra 35t of silage dry matter in a 1,000t clamp.
Protecting the valuable protein in the grass is another key determinant of silage quality. Trials have shown that Ecosyl-treatment improves true protein in silage by 3.5%.
Wilting increases the dry matter (DM) level of silage and reduces losses from effluent. The aim should be to wilt as rapidly as possible to an ideal DM of 28% to 32%.
Wilting should be achieved in the shortest possible time, because, as soon as grass is cut, its nutritional quality starts to decline.
Trials by Volac on farms in Wales showed that cutting at 10am on a warm, dry day and tedding immediately resulted in grass reaching a target DM of 30% in just four and a half hours.
In contrast, where grass was not tedded until five hours after cutting, it took seven hours to reach 30% DM.
Where cutting was delayed until 3pm, grass reached 30% DM in five hours when tedded immediately after cutting.
If tedding was left until the following morning, it took 23 hours to reach 30% DM.
Where the 3pm cut was left untedded, the grass reached a DM of just 24% after 24 hours.
It is clear from these trials that tedding reduces wilting times substantially and along with practices such as good consolidation and the use of a proven additive is a key step in producing consistently better silage.
Machines should be adjusted correctly in order to avoid hitting the ground and contaminating grass with soil.
The clostridial bacteria in soil create a butyric acid fermentation, with potential losses of around 50% dry matter, along with reduced intakes and palatability.
In contrast, a lactic acid fermentation leads to zero dry matter losses and increased intakes.
If there is a likelihood of soil contamination, it is important to try to wilt the grass to at least 30% dry matter as drier silages are more ‘forgiving’ in their fermentation.
Ecosyl’s high level of lactic-producing bacteria helps to overcome the clostridial bacteria.
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For more information on Ecosyl, visit www.ecosyl.com.
For expert Volac advice and guidance on the critical steps in quality silage production, visit www.cuttoclamp.com.