In this environment, it’s important to think about the Return On Investment (ROI) of everything you’ve purchased. Harvest Home, Prairie Estates Genetics’ exclusive fermentation aid, has one of the best ROIs of anything you can use on your farm. In this post, our senior-most Forage Manager, Mike Kabat, gets into the technical nitty-gritty of why oxygen management practices are so important and how Harvest Home is uniquely suited to assure a cool face at feed-out.
On the left, a sample treated with Prairie Estates Genetics Harvest Home fermentation aid, on the right, an untreated sample.
The picture above was sent to us by a producer that used Harvest Home on one bunker and nothing on the next. On the left, you can see by the greener, fresher looking sample that the treated feed had a very efficient fermentation process, and the darker, more “burnt” sample did not ferment efficiently and had a much higher dry matter loss.
Controlling trapped oxygen is the key factor to a great fermentation and low dry matter loss. Oxygen is most successfully controlled by good management practices like proper packing management, sound storage structures, covering piles & bunkers quickly, and using oxygen limiting barriers. Forage additives and inoculants are also very important in controlling or “using up” the trapped oxygen that is in the structure after packing/filling and covering are done. When you control oxygen, you control the heat or temperature of the fermentation. High range temperatures will result in “burnt up” or lost nutrients.
This retention of dry matter gives you a Return of Investment of at least 5 to 1. Five dollars saved for every dollar spent.
Using good oxygen management practices is extremely important as it will determine which Lactobacillus bacteria strains are active and how long they are active. Heterofermenters produce acetic acid, and are these active in the presence of oxygen during bunker feed out. Homofermenters produce Lactic acid and are active when the oxygen is used up, and the bunker is sealed. We need both acids if we want a stable end product but need to do it quickly to drive pH as low as possible.
Harvest Home is a unique and proprietary product of Prairie Estates Genetics that contains oxygen scavengers, mold inhibitors, and extremely high levels of enzymes. The high-level oxygen scavengers and mold inhibitors tie-up trapped oxygen and control the temperature of the pile. The extremely high level of enzymes breaks down complex carbohydrates into simple sugars for the native bacteria to use as food. This food helps the bacteria produce high levels of lactic and acetic acid in a short amount of time to drive the pH low, which greatly improves bunk life and feed out.
Senior Forage Manager
Prairie Estate Genetics