Silage focus: The staff from Lallemand Animal Nutrition were exhibiting at Beef for the first time, providing event visitors with a plethora of information about the company's range of silage products.

Silage focus: The staff from Lallemand Animal Nutrition were exhibiting at Beef for the first time, providing event visitors with a plethora of information about the company's range of silage products.

A durable feed option

Benefits of silage detailed at Beef

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At Beef in Rockhampton, Lallemand Animal Nutrition staff took the opportunity to detail the entire silage story for visitors - encompassing growing, harvesting, storing and feeding silage.

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This article is sponsored content for Lallemand

At Beef, Lallemand Animal Nutrition staff took the opportunity to detail the entire silage story for visitors - encompassing growing, harvesting, storing and feeding silage.

The company's managing director Alex Turney said the event was a great platform to showcase modern silage technology to extensive beef producers.

"Silage allows you to preserve and store processed crops and pastures for years or even decades. You can then access that feed when you need it, allowing you to breed, grow and finish livestock, regardless of the season. We call silage the 'future proof' feed," Mr Turney said.

Mr Turney said sourcing feed when it's dry isn't the best strategy as everyone is facing the same problem. Demand quickly outstrips supply, prices spike and the quality of the remaining resource becomes variable and often unfeasible to transport.

"The beauty of silage is that, when produced and stored correctly, it can last indefinitely until you need it. Most silage is consumed within 12 months, but it can be stored for up to 30 years."

Lallemand's core business is supplying silage management, forage inoculants and silage storage systems.

"We work closely with individual producers, feedlots and silage contractors to help make quality silage, from crop and varietal selection, pit design and feeding out. More recently, we've been working to increase the adoption of microbial technology in livestock feed to improve rumen efficiency and health."

Lallemand has got seven regionally-based technical service managers based across Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, backed by the administration team in Maroochydore.

Lallemands' Nathan Lister and Jordan Minniecon shovelling forage sorghum from this 13.6 ton silage bin created especially for Beef to help feed the cattle on-site.

Lallemands' Nathan Lister and Jordan Minniecon shovelling forage sorghum from this 13.6 ton silage bin created especially for Beef to help feed the cattle on-site.

"As individuals and as a team, we have solid experience in silage production and ruminant nutrition."

While sorghum, corn and cereals are the most common silage crops, Lallemand has successfully produced quality silage using stubble, sugar cane, canola, beans and even cotton.

"The silage inoculant is an additive that contains several strain specific bacteria to produce a more efficient and controlled fermentation. Our premium inoculant is MAGNIVA Platinum, which combines a patented strain Lactobacillus hilgardii and the industry standard, Lactobacillus buchneri,to provide rapid 'front end' fermentation with proven 'back end' aerobic stability. In simple terms, you can open the stack sooner and it will last longer after opening."

Mr Turney said the easiest and cheapest way to get into silage is to use sealed bales. The next step up is constructing a covered pit or stack, with a concrete bunker being ideal.

"Like anything, most producers start off small until they get familiar with silage and are willing to invest more to make it part of their feeding program."

He said ensuring silage is sealed correctly is crucial.

"If there is any oxygen at all in the stack, the forage will continue to ferment until it rots and you'll end up with compost. The most important thing you can do is to use quality film. Multi-layered oxygen barrier films are more expensive but they're 100 times more effective than polyethylene in preventing the entry of oxygen into silage. Ideally, you should cover the whole lot with a UV-protected woven cover and weigh it down with weights to prevent oxygen entry further."

Ben Morgensen, Lallemand, and Damian Heagney, Claas Dalby, with the Class Jaguar 960, 650hp forage harvester which can throughput 280 tons of silage per hour.

Ben Morgensen, Lallemand, and Damian Heagney, Claas Dalby, with the Class Jaguar 960, 650hp forage harvester which can throughput 280 tons of silage per hour.

There's lots of ways to feed out silage, ranging from the very simple to the more complex, depending on your equipment and feeding system.

"You can use a tractor with a grab to remove the silage from the face of the pit, put it in a truck or trailer and feed it out in the paddock or maybe a trough. At the other end of the scale, you can use specialist silage shears, feed wagons and feed pads."

Mr Turney said on the Lallemand site representatives from Fodderlink fodder marketing services, Pacific Seeds, CLAAS forage harvesting technology, Roto-Mix and Eagle Direct where available for visitors to speak to, and silage contractors also shared their expertise directly with visitors. Our silage inoculants and sealing technology were also demonstrated.

"We also ran a daily seminar program entailing 20 minute presentations (four each in the morning and afternoon), starting with the big picture of why its beneficial to grow silage and then drilling down to each stage of the process. We had a number of producers coming in to share their success stories, as well as a number of guest speakers and silage contractors involved. It was a great week."

This article is sponsored content for Lallemand

The story A durable feed option first appeared on Queensland Country Life.

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