Did you know that your Feed Central NIR Feed Test results can help you determine how well your silage has fermented? There are three important values to look at on your results that can indicate successful fermentation:
- Lactic Acid – Lactic acid is the main acid produced during the fermentation process and has a sweet smell. It is produced by the lactobacillus bacteria and aids in the decrease in pH. The ideal level of lactic acid is between 8-10%.
- Acetic Acid – Acetic Acid is the second most produced acid during the fermentation process. It is a strong activator in fungal growth during fermentation and is beneficial when found in the silage at a moderate level. However, too much acetic acid can be harmful and results in a loss of DM content, a decline in pH and an indication of inefficient fermentation. All these factors often resulting in loss of intake. The ideal ratio of lactic: acetic acid ratio in silage is 3:1.
- Butryic Acid – Butryic acid is an undesirable product that is produced during the fermentation process. A high level of this in your silage is an indication of poor DM and energy. It can cause feed to decrease in palatability and can even cause sickness in stock if consumed at levels higher then 50 grams per day over a period of time.