Do your clients run the risk of spoiled silage? Researchers from the University of Florida have found that a dual-purpose inoculant can help. (Dual-purpose inoculants contain both homofermentative and heterofermentative bacteria.)

The inoculants reduced the amount and proportion of spoiled corn silage by more than 50 percent, thus reducing energy and nutrient losses, the researchers wrote in the June edition of the Journal of Dairy Science.

“Inoculation reduced the yeast and mold populations and consequently reduced the total heat accumulation during the aerobic feedout phase,” they said.

This adds to the knowledge base, since little was known prior to the study about the effects of dual-purposed inoculants on the fermentation of corn silage prepared using farm-scale silos, and less was known about their effects on silage quality and preservation during the feedout phase in such silos, the researchers wrote. It now appears the dual-purpose inoculants can help producers avoid risk. They don’t necessarily make good silage better, or even improve the nutrient status of silage once it’s spoiled, researchers note, but they do keep more of the silage from entering the “spoiled” category in the first place.

Read the abstract.