Beef School: Ep.1 — Supercharge Forage With Silage Inoculants

Do you inoculate your silage? If not, you could be losing out on added digestibility or leaving the bunk or silo open to added spoilage.

In this very first episode of the Beef School, we meet with Dr. Tim McAllister, principal research scientist, ruminant nutrition & microbiology, with Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, to learn more about the three types of silage inoculants and what they do.

McAllister explains that there are three commercially-available inoculant types: the first accelerates the drop in pH critical to conserving dry matter in the ensiling process; the second conserves quality and adds stability when the bunk/silo is opened; and, the third actually improves digestibility of the feed.

“Ensiling itself is a pretty complicated process; the microbiology of that is incredibly complex as well,” says McAllister. Think of adding inoculant(s) as an insurance policy at a microbial level — the only way to know those microbes are there, hard at work, is to add them in.

In the video interview below, McAllister also highlights a fourth, experimental type of inoculant, and shares the opportunity cost of not using an inoculant on each and every silage crop.

Can’t see the embedded video? Click here.

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