Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: February 16, 2010
Publication Date: February 16, 2010
Citation: Muck, R.E. 2010. Silage Additives and Management Issues. In: 2010 Idaho Alfalfa and Forage Conference Proceedings, Burley, ID, Feb. 16-17, 2010. p. 49-55.
Inoculants are the most common silage additives in the United States. These products contain lactic acid bacteria to supplement the lactic acid bacteria naturally on the crop and help insure a consistent fermentation in the silo. There are three types of inoculants: homofermentative lactic acid bacteria that produce mostly lactic acid, Lactobacillus buchneri which produces lactic and acetic acids, and combination products containing both homofermentative strains and Lactobacillus buchneri. The homofermentative products produce a fast efficient fermentation in the silo, minimizing losses and improving animal performance. Lactobacillus buchneri, because it increases the amount of acetic acid in silage, is used primarily to help keep the silage from spoiling and heating during the time the silo is being emptied. The combination products aim to get the benefits of both types of inoculants: a fast and efficient fermentation, improved animal performance and a resistance to spoilage. The choice of additive should be based on the most important goal the farmer wants to address by using an inoculant.