ADDCON's 2nd International Silage Summit bring insights from academia and industry
Held yesterday in Leipzig, Germany, from topics relating to silage quality to its application, ADDCON's 2nd International Silage Summit saw academic and industry experts alike share their latest research and insights.
Bernd Kochannek, CEO of ADDCON Group of Companies, set the stage for the day's discussions by showing how fermentation losses are costing the industry millions every year. Assuming an average figure of just 1% fermentation loss for grass silage, he showed how this translates to an annual loss of 300 million euros for the industry worldwide. For corn silage, the loss was double. He then showed how a simple application of biological silage additives can potentially result in a ROI (return of investment) of 3.1 to 3.5.
Specifically in his presentation, among other things, Dr. Andreas Milimonka, Technical Director of Silage and Preservation, ADDCON Europe, then showed how the company's biological silage additive product outperformed other silage additive products both in terms of increasing the protein value of the silage, and reducing its dry matter loss.
Dr. Katrin Gerlach of the University of Bonn, Germany, then stressed that factors in the ensiling process, including protein value, aerobic stability, hygienic status and fermentation quality, results in high variability in silage quality. Interestingly, in preference trials conducted on goats, the animals differed strongly between corn, grass and lucerne (alfalfa) silages.
The next presentation was by Dr. Klaus Hunting of LKW Northrhine-Westfalia, Germany, who showed how good management practices in terms of bunker filling and packing can also improve silage quality.
Specifically in his presentation on silage quality analysis, among other things, Dr. Wolfram Richard of LKS Lichtenwalde, Germany, shared how the percentage of Non-Cracked-Kernels in corn silage in Germany sharply decreased in the year 2015. This raised the question of this was due to the higher awareness from farmers of Shredlage, a unique corn silage chopping system, which can purportedly improve bunker packing.
Representing one of the co-sponsors of the Summit, John Deere GmbH & Co KG, Klaus Kellner offered a more industrial perspective of improving silage quality; reducing the cost of silage production; increasing process efficiency. Dr. Maxime de Traversay, from the other co-sponsor of the Summit, DeLaval International, Poland, then spoke about the benefits of automatic feeding systems. He was followed by Andreas Frenker of Sila GmbH who spoke on silage application systems.
The last speaker of the day, Dr. Ingvar Selmar-Olsen, Director of the University Farm, NMBU, Norway, shared the developments on the university farm since its re-establishment recently in 2015.
Finally, in a podium discussion of the Summit, it was generally agreed that there are still many gaps in research in the industry waiting to be filled, such as a full understanding of the chemistry behind the ensiling process.