Evenly distributing forage inoculants is a critical factor in their effectiveness. The bacteria in the inoculants grow where they land on the forage, so it’s important to apply the product evenly throughout the crop.
Following these tips can help ensure an even inoculant distribution.
- Make sure the applicator is clean and sanitized, in working condition and ready to go.
- Consider the product format. Dry granular product may be easier to use, but it is less effective than liquid application, as crop dry matter (DM) increases.
- Prior to mixing, always read and follow the label directions. It is important to treat the living organisms within the inoculant carefully. This helps guarantee the expected results from your inoculant investment.
- For liquid-applied inoculants, choose products with technology to keep the bacteria evenly dispersed throughout the applicator.
- Calibrate your application rates--both for liquid and dry-applied inoculants.
- Check application rates several times a day.
- Limit exposure to heat, moisture and oxygen. Both granular and liquid inoculant products are sensitive to heat, moisture and oxygen. It’s recommended to use an applicator with an insulated tank to help ensure microbial viability of forage inoculants.
For additional handling tips, watch this video that busts myths about silage inoculant handling at https://youtu.be/ynIYl_idGt4.
More information about silage production can be found at www.qualitysilage.com