Making More From Maize Silage.

28th September 2022

Pictured: Gary Spence – Fane Valley, Grassland Technical Support Manager

Bought in feed prices are at record high levels making it more important than ever to maximise production from forage. Achieving a fast, efficient fermentation and a silage which is stable are key to maximise the production and quality of your maize silage.  

Maize silage can be prone to losses from an inefficient fermentation and dry matter losses. Using Magniva Platinum Elite Maize additive has shown a 6.5% reduction in dry matter losses over other maize silage inoculants. This equates to saving 780kg DM/ha with a feed value of over £200/ha at today’s prices. The patented combination of L. hilgardii and L. buchneri in the Magniva Maize range not only improve the stability of the clamp but prevent secondary fermentation which has the added benefit of reducing moulds and yeasts which can cause health problems in the animal. In a trial maize treated with Magniva Platinum had twelve times less yeast at early opening than untreated maize.

Alongside the use of a silage inoculant, attention to detail at every stage of the process is key to yield the greatest benefits. Harvest timings will vary depending on time of planting and soil type, but the key is to cut when the crop reaches the correct dry matter – ideally averaging 30-35% for the whole plant and the cob has a milk line halfway up the grain. This will give a maximum yield of starch and dry matter.

Ensure the clamp is filled in thin even layers, with plenty of weight and time given to consolidation of the clamp as the first step for effective fermentation is to remove as much air as possible. If the clamp is left poorly compacted and spongy, the beneficial microbes cannot start to work as quickly and there is an increased risk of spoilage microbes interfering with fermentation. Good compaction increases the likelihood of a more stable silage during feed out.    

Find out more about making the most of your maize silage by speaking to your local Fane Valley Agronomy & Forage specialist or call 02892610485.