A big benefit to using silostop bale wrap is the reduced yeast and mold count, and the benefits are more dramatic on forage stored for an extended period. So I tested bales that had been wrapped for 150 days to see the difference in spore numbers.
Yeast and molds grow in the presence of oxygen, so reducing oxygen in the bale significantly decreased forage infected. Molds and yeasts have multiple negative effects beyond just reducing overall feed quality, such as abortions, digestive upsets, reduced feeds intakes, and decreased animal performance. Molds produce mycotoxins which have similar effects on livestock. Increased production of fungal spores leads to respiratory distress including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. By not having oxygen present in the bale also considerably reduces the risk of listeria that is also very harmful to sheep, lambs, and cattle.
The mold counts in the white wrapped balage was 10,000 cfu/gm and the mold counts in the silostop bales were less than 1,000 cfu/gm.
We received the first round of results from one of our trials currently in Wayne County Ohio, theses samples were taken 28 days after they were wrapped. This producer typically covers with 8 wraps so we did 3 separate trials on alfalfa balage 8 wraps of white, 8 wraps of silostop, and 6 wraps of silostop. We will be sampling the bales every month to track the fermentation process.
- 8 wraps of white
- 8 wraps of silostop
- 6 wraps of silsotop
There are multiple aspects of the fermentation process that we will be tracking though this whole experiment I am going to focus on dry matter and fermentation products. We will continue to track the bales progression every 30 days.
Below is quick review on each reading to date and why we focus on it.
pH: goal: 4.3-4.7 shows if enough acid was produced for a good fermentation controls yeast and mold growth
Lactic acid: Goal: 3.0-6.0 spoilage can occur if adequate level are not meet
Acetic Acid Goal 0.5-2.5 excessive levels mean prolonged fermentation
Butyric Acid: Goal: <.25 should be undetectable in a good fermented silage excessive levels allows for presence of yeast and molds and reduced DM intake
Dry Matter 35 %
Results to date:
The silostop bales had not completed fermentation at 28 days, we can tell this by the high level of fermentation products present in the samples.
Explanation: when oxygen is present it speeds up the fermentation process so it does not complete a full and healthy cycle, these results prove that there is less oxygen present in the silostop wrapped bales that a typical white bale.
The dry matter on the silstop bale is 35% the dry matter on the white bales are 40%