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Source: DuPont Pioneer news release

An upward trend in milk and beef prices may have growers putting more emphasis on feed value and the importance of inoculants to help preserve the amount and quality of stored forages.

"Dry-matter recovery is important because feed is still relatively expensive," says Bill Ramsey, DuPont Pioneer livestock information manager. "To maximize the value of their forage investment, many producers I meet with are also working with nutritionists and agronomic consultants on plans to prevent dry-matter loss in stored forages.

Managing pH immediately after harvest is the key to forage preservation.

"Dry-matter loss begins with plant-cell respiration and aerobic bacteria utilizing plant sugars, water and carbs as an energy source, literally consuming nutrients and feed," Ramsey says. "A quick drop in pH and a fast start to fermentation preserves silage, maintains a high level of silage quality and results in decreased fermentation losses."

To accurately estimate the overall value of inoculants on feed, producers can use the Pioneer Inoculant Value Calculator to gain a "hands on" look at how inoculants can make an economic difference on their operations through improved feed bunk life and increased feed cost savings.

Utilizing 27 years of research data to quantify the value of inoculants to preserve dry matter, the easy-to-use online tool enables growers to evaluate 10 variables, including the crop, storage system, feeding rates and market prices. Growers can access the calculator on the website or in the app from the Apple® iTunes® store.

Inoculants have two primary functions in preserving forages. The first priority is to spark a fast and efficient pH drop of the silage as soon as it is stored.

The second is to help suppress spoilage yeast, mold and bacillus for improved aerobic stability. DuPont Pioneer also has silage inoculants with a third mode of action that improves fiber digestibility and increases fermentation and aerobic stability.

For more information about Pioneer® brand inoculants, visit or contact your local Pioneer sales professional.

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