Maximising silage quality has never been more important for Cork dairy farmers Henry and Liam O’Keeffe.

The father and son due operate Radney Farm Ltd, a 110-cow Holstein Friesian herd in Knockfilla, Freemount, north Cork.

The O’Keeffes' first experience of working with Volac was in 2015 when they installed their first automatic calf feeder and introduced Volac Triple AAA Golden Maverick calf milk replacer, which Henry says transformed their calf rearing system.

“Over the last eight years, we have built a great business rapport with the Volac team. We trust their expertise and find their product offering to be far superior to others we have tried over the years.

"When it came to trying a silage additive, it was a very easy choice to go with the Ecosyl silage additive,” he said.

Using the Ecosyl silage additive

The Volac Ecosyl silage additive range has products to suit every farming system.

“We did some research on the silage additive range and from speaking with both our contractor and our Volac business manager Sharon O’Donoghue, we felt that Ecosyl 100 was the best fit for our system,” Henry said.

The pair operate a multi-cut silage system and each year they aim to pit over 130 acres and produce approximately 500 bales.

The introduction of Ecosyl silage additive ensures the O’Keeffes maximise the opportunity to produce high-quality homegrown forage and the farm still wins economically.

“Since we first introduced the product, we have had zero waste in our pit. It has been highly effective on our bales, leading to faster and more efficient fermentation, as well as reducing the risk of spoilage,” said Henry.

“Our business manager Sharon O’Donoghue is always on hand to offer her advice and what is reassuring for us is that the Ecosyl range is backed by more independent trial research and evidence than any other silage additive,” he added.

Backed by science

Volac is leading the way in the research and development of new technologies and management techniques which aim to improve the efficiency of animal production from forage.

The O’Keeffes used Ecosyl silage additive to maximise the opportunity to produce high-quality homegrown forage for their milking herd.

Ecosyl is proven in research trials 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.

What do inoculants do?

"It’s a no-brainer for us to use a silage additive, as we can really see the positive results - better-quality silage, improved DMD, increased milk yield and enhanced animal performance every time,” said Henry.

Ecosyl 100 contains MTD/1 and this is a unique, high-performance strain of L plantarum.

It is applied at one million colony forming units per gram of forage, meaning it will quickly dominate the other less desirable bacteria. As a result, using Ecosyl 100 will enable the L plantarum bacteria to:

  • Make better use of available sugars.
  • Preserve more nitrogen as true protein.
  • Reduce fermentation dry matter losses.
  • Minimise undesirable microbial activity.
  • Alternatively, as well as containing MTD/1, the additive Ecocool also contains PJB/1 which is a unique strain of L buchneri proven on a range of forage crops to inhibit the activities of the yeasts and moulds which cause aerobic spoilage of silages, with the following benefits:

  • Less heating.
  • Lower DM losses.
  • Less physical waste.
  • Less risk of mycotoxins.
  • For more information:

    Contact your local Volac business manager today for expert advice on making quality silage this season. To find out more about the Ecosyl range of proven silage additives, click here.