SILO-KING® – The Key to Better Forage

Published on Tue, 02/26/2019 - 12:23pm

 SILO-KING® – The Key to Better Forage

 Dr. Louisa Koch, Ph.D., P.A.S., Dave Spangler, and Dr. Dan Schauff, Ph.D., P.A.S.

For fifty years, Silo-King® has been a trusted and proven forage additive to help forage and livestock producers retain as much of the harvested forage tonnage as possible and get the most out of each pound of forage fed to their livestock. Silo-King® was originally developed to help keep important nutrients in the forage, reduce dry matter loss, and prevent heating and instability at feed out. A unique combination of lactic acid bacteria, enzymes, and antioxidants gives Silo-King® its characteristic ability to:

    •    Improve digestibility
    •    Reduce dry matter loss

    •    Minimize growth of yeasts, molds, and other spoilage organisms
    •    Prevent heating and loss of calories

The addition of Silo-King® to forage aids in enhancing digestibility and feed efficiency, as well as protects the forage from a variety of factors that may limit quality. Silo-King® is formulated with ingredients that speed up the removal of oxygen and stop plant respiration. Energy can be lost as heat in the amount of 3 calories for every 1 degree increase in temperature. Using Silo-King® helps to minimize any heating so that more calories can be put towards making more meat or milk. In addition, the enzyme mixture helps to release some of the potential energy in forages and subsequently improves feed efficiency. In 2018, Agri-King released a new formulation of Silo-King® with improvements to the bacterial blend, antioxidants, and enzymes.
Several mini-silo experiments were conducted to verify the efficacy of the new Silo-King® on haylage, corn silage, and high moisture corn in mini-silos. In these experiments, we monitored pH, lactic acid and acetic acid production, as well other fermentation measurements during the 1st 60 days of ensiling. We also analyzed nutrient parameters to determine what improvements were made in digestibility, aerobic stability, and microbial profiles of the forage or grain after desiling. These experiments compared non-treated forages (control) to the old Silo-King® and the new Silo-King® formulation. In one experiment on alfalfa haylage, the new Silo-King® formula exhibited the lowest pH (Figure 1), highest 12-hour dry matter digestibility (Figure 2), and highest aerobic stability after 72 hours exposed to air (Figure 3).
Recently, multiple on-farm tests were conducted across the country to evaluate the new Silo-King®. In a comparison of non-treated corn silage, Silo-King®, and a competitor, Silo-King® had 11% greater lactic acid at 30 days ensiled compared to the competitor (Figure 4). This greater lactic acid in the Silo-King® treated corn silage helps to reduce the pH and inhibit growth of yeasts and molds that can negatively affect silage quality. Lactic acid is 10 to 12 times stronger than acetic and propionic acids that are found in silages. The low pH from lactic acid helps to stabilize the fermentation process. In addition, temperature was monitored in corn silage on a 3000 cow dairy in PA and Silo-King® was 18-21F cooler than the competiror (Figure 6). A similar response was seen in alfalfa haylage, where the new Silo-King® was cooler despite several days where the ambient temperature was over 90F. These cooler ensiling temperatures result in less energy loss, greater dry matter retention, and subsequently higher quality forages to feed your cows. The results are clear – Silo-King® continues to be the best choice for making quality forage. Ask your Agri-King area manager today about getting the most out of your forages in 2019 with the new and improved Silo-King®.