Get to know your bacteria

Growers wanting to understand their inoculant bacteria should speak with silage specialist Jason Scott and the Pioneer Seeds team at IDW to learn more about investing in good inoculant for silage quality benefits. Photo by Stephen Smith Agricam

Silage inoculants are an investment, not an expense, and the benefits of using the best silage inoculants on the market are considerable and wide ranging, says Pioneer Seeds silage specialist Jason Scott.

Mr Scott said it could be difficult to know which was a good inoculant product.

“This is simply because the product label lists just the same genus/species information such as Lactobacillus buchneri,” he said.

“However, a listing that does this, doesn’t take into account the tremendous genetic differences between individual strains within a species.”

He likened the differences to the variances in cattle breeds.

“While product labels may read similarly, there are differences in bacterial stains just like there are differences in the milk production potential of Friesian and Hereford cattle (both of which have the zoological classification Bos Taurus).

“So, when you are buying an inoculant that doesn’t identify the bacterial strain, you don’t always know what you are getting.”

Mr Scott encouraged farmers to make inoculant comparisons by asking inoculant suppliers for their animal data against an untreated control so they could be confident they were comparing data properly, and to know that they were investing in a strain that would deliver the best quality silage possible.

“Many companies have no animal data, and often very little fermentation data as well, even against an untreated control, which then leaves farmers and contractors unclear about performance expectations for their investment in the inoculant they choose.”

He said Pioneer supported the advancement in inoculant technology with the development of an application system designed and calibrated specifically for Pioneer brand inoculant products.

“The unique design of the Appli-Pro application system reduces water requirements and offers a high level of application precision and convenience.”

The Appli-Pro has been designed to work with all major brands of forage harvesting equipment, and allows the operator to use the cab-mounted control panel to turn the applicator on and off to precisely control the application rate.

Pioneer Seeds is a proud platinum sponsor of International Dairy Week. Catch up with Jason Scott and the Pioneer Seeds team at IDW at Site 18.