Ask the Quality Silage Experts: Using Leftover Inoculant

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Q. Can I use forage inoculant leftover from last season?

A. Maybe. It depends on the product’s storage conditions and shelf life. Inoculants contain living organisms. It’s important to treat these products carefully to keep them stable and, thus, alive.

Only use a forage inoculant from the previous season if:

  1. It is in a whole, sealed pack. Partially used packs should not be resealed since air and moisture inevitably make contact with the product.
  2. The pack is within the shelf life indicated on the product label. High-quality products will often recommend a shelf life of 18 months or more. After that time, the viability of the living organisms can begin to erode.
  3. It was refrigerated or frozen. Always read and follow label directions for the product purchased. Most products will indicate a specific temperature for storage.

Maintaining the viability of these important bacteria helps ensure the value of your inoculant investment and successful ensiling. In the long run, it will lead to high-quality feedstuffs with good feedout stability for your operation.


The Silage Dr.


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