Test ensiled forages before you buy

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Fermentation analysis can help you decide which forage to buy for your cows.

Butyric acid and lactic acid play a key role in palatability and how well your cows will accept the feed. Yet, two ensiled forages with virtually the same wet chemistry test results can have substantially different acid profiles, explains Brian Perkins, technical services specialist with Monsanto Dairy Business.

Until recently, the only tests available were wet chemistry or NIR analysis, says Perkins. However, neither one indicates the acid profile. That’s why a separate fermentation analysis is so important.

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