Ask the Silage Dr.: Forage Analysis

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Q. Can fermentation analysis help me identify performance problems in my herd?

A. Fermentation analysis can provide insight into possible performance problems. For example, high levels of silage acids can indicate an extensive fermentation occurred during ensiling. Many operations can successfully feed silage with a high acid content.

If not properly formulated in a ration, high lactic acid levels in silage can increase the opportunity for subacute ruminal acidosis (SARA) — especially in cases where the animal’s capacity to degrade lactic acid is compromised. Plus, there is less energy for the cow to use when forage nutrients are converted to acids during ensiling.

It’s worthwhile to invest in fermentation analysis — especially if you’re experiencing challenges that are hard to pin down. Silage is a complex system with inherent variability. An analysis can help you understand what happened during the harvest and ensiling process and how to improve the next time.



The Silage Dr.

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