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We have listed the most frequently asked questions about BONSILAGE products, silages and the general ensiling process below. Find information about the range of applications of BONSILAGE, harvesting & ensiling, dosage & application, animal feed & animal health, bacterial strains and quality & economic efficiency. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you do not find the answer to your questions (Contact Form).

Range of application

Is there an all-round product for silages?+

Since substrates differ so widely in terms of baseline conditions, it is not possible to develop an all-round product. The DM content of material to be fermented, above all, plays an important role in selecting the right combination of bacterial strains. (Product Finder)

Which BONSILAGE product reduces the yeast content in silages most rapidly?+

BONSILAGE SPEED products accelerate silage maturity to two weeks and reduce yeast contents most quickly. (BONSILAGE SPEED)

Can BONSILAGE SPEED and BONSILAGE FIT products also be used for CCM or whole-grain silage?+

No, it is recommended to use BONSILAGE CCM or BONSILAGE GKS for these substrates, as the lactic acid bacteria combination in these products is specifically tailored to these types of silages. (Product Finder)

Why should BONSILAGE also be used for maize?+

BONSILAGE products help control fermentation quality in a targeted manner. Maize plants are already affected by high yeast levels on the field, which makes them particularly prone to reheating. BONSILAGE ensures stable silages. (Product Finder)

Are BONSILAGE products suited for producing GMO-free milk?+

Yes, BONSILAGE products are entirely safe to use for this purpose.

Can BONSILAGE products be used in organic farming?+

BONSILAGE can be used in organic/biological production according to Council Regulations (EC) No. 834/2007 and (EC) No. 889/2008. AT-BIO-301.

Which silage additive is the right one to use with low-sugar grass in persistent damp weather conditions?+

BONSILAGE FORTE is suited for grass with a low DM content (18–30% DM). The specific combination of bacterial strains in this product actively suppresses clostridia and additionally activates carbohydrate reserves in order to improve ensilability. (BONSILAGE FORTE)

What problems arise with very damp or very dry silages? What are the important considerations when selecting silage additives?+

Very damp silages tend to spoil from butyric acid formation, while very dry silages are often affected by reheating. The DM content plays a decisive role in selecting the right BONSILAGE silage additive. (Product Finder)

Can BONSILAGE products suppress field fungi introduced to the silage stock?+

Yes, BONSILAGE products have a targeted effect against moulds. (Product Finder)

Is BONSILAGE also suitable for substrates affected by corn smut?+

Yes, corn plants affected by corn smut are particularly prone to heating in silage and should always be treated with a BONSILAGE product. (Product Finder)

Harvesting & ensiling

What is the difference between BONSILAGE and chemical silage additives?+

BONSILAGE is a purely biological silage additive. The costs of BONSILAGE products are substantially lower than those of chemical products. Chemical products have a purely preservative effect, while biological silage additives generate additional positive effects such as the formation of propylene glycol due to the metabolic action of active lactic acid bacteria.

Can the effects of using BONSILAGE in silage be verified?+

Yes, the use of BONSILAGE can be identified from product-specific fermentation patterns through a silage analysis conducted after the recommended silage maturity. 

Does the ensilability of grass substrate need to be determined before cutting?+

No, under normal conditions it is sufficient to select the appropriate product depending on dry matter contents and substrate type. If there is any doubt, a fresh grass sample can contribute to determining the optimum time for the cut.

What effect does extensive fertilisation have on the ensiling process?+

Extensive fertilisation can reduce the nitrate contents of silage. Insufficient nitrate contents have a negative effect on ensilability, as they may result in a deficiency of natural inhibitors of fermentation pests.

What effect does the timing of liquid manure fertilisation have on grassland crops?+

If contamination of grassland crops with persistent clostridia spores is to be prevented, no liquid manure should be applied for about 6 weeks before harvesting.

What effect does wilting time have on sugar contents and protein quality?+

Short wilting time times promote ensilability and prevent carbohydrate losses. They additionally improve protein quality, as proteolysis is reduced.

How can compaction be increased?+

Ensure that the following factors are given:  

- Max. 15-20 cm layer depth
- Min. 2 bar tyre pressure (no dual tyres)
- Max. 3-4 km/h rolling speed
- Rolling from the start

How can the compaction tractor weight be determined relative to the amount harvested?+

Compaction tractor weight = pick-up rate in t FM per hour / X (X: 3 for silage trailers, 4 for forage harvesters) 

Do BONSILAGE products have an effect on the (core) temperature in the silage stock?+

No, the use of BONSILAGE products does not affect the temperature in the silage stock. 

Which chopping lengths should be aimed for depending on the physiological ages and DM contents of various substrates?+

The optimal chop length is 20–40 mm for grass silage and 6–8 mm for maize silage. Chop lengths should be shortened with increasing age and DM contents.

Why does silage plastic get inflated like a balloon (gas bubble)?+

Plant tissue dies off during the main fermentation phase, resulting in an intensive formation of gas. A gas bubble is therefore a sign of good silage wrapping without damage to the silage film The gas should not be vented under any circumstances, as it contains highly toxic nitrous gases. The bubble will deflate of its own over time. Once this has happened, the silage film should be tightened again.

Use & application

How long can BONSILAGE products be stored for?+

BONSILAGE products can be stored for two years in unopened cans. Lactic acid bacteria already dissolved in water and thus activated can be used for up to a week, provided they are kept refrigerated (+4°C).

Should unused or unopened BONSILAGE cans be stored in a refrigerator or freezer?+

No, it is sufficient to keep them at room temperature, out of direct sunlight.

How do I calculate the expected harvest volume and the required number of BONSILAGE cans?+

This is where our Dosage Calculator comes in handy.

How is dosing technology set appropriately?+

Use the Dosage Calculator to determine the relevant values.

Is it useful to meter BONSILAGE manually, without using dosing technology?+

No, this is not recommended, as automatic systems meter out products more precisely and successful ensiling can only be ensured by applying precise dosages.

Are higher dosages required for lower dry matter contents?+

No, it is important to ensure that the right BONSILAGE silage additive for the respective DM content is used and applied at the specified rate. (Dosage Calculator)

How much water is required when using silage additives?+

The required amount of water depends on the dosing technology used. Modern dosing technology such as the SCHAUMANN MD only needs minimal amounts (25–50 ml/t). The precise requirements can also be calculated using the Dosage Calculator.

Can BONSILAGE products be combined with chemical silage additives such as SILOSTAR PROTECT?+

Yes, the two products can be easily combined in a single silage stock. Their combined use results in increased protection of silage areas prone to spoilage.

Are there any concrete health risks when applying the products?+

No, BONSILAGE products are in no way harmful to health or dangerous.

Is BONSILAGE corrosive or does it degrade materials or technology?+

No, BONSILAGE is very user-friendly and gentle to materials.

Animal feed and animal health

What makes BONSILAGE FIT stand out in terms of animal health?+

The targeted conversion of nutrients in silage results in the production of propylene glycol, which helps prevent ketosis and acidosis. (BONSILAGE FIT)  

Is the propylene glycol from BONSILAGE products just as effective as this raw material sourced from a barrel?+

Yes, the effect is identical.

Can I do without giving TIRSANA as an energy booster, since BONSILAGE FIT promotes the formation of propylene glycol?+

TIRSANA products not only provide an energy boost, but also improve palatability and as a result increase feed intake.

Can the use of BONSILAGE help reduce concentrate feeds?+

Yes, since silages produced with the help of BONSILAGE have a higher energy content, the use of concentrate feeds can be reduced. 

Do high acetic acid contents resulting from the use of BONSILAGE affect nutrient intake?+

The L. buchneri metabolism generates not only acetic acid but also propylene glycol. In contrast to undesirable acetic acid formation, no undesirable substances are generated in parallel. As a result, silage remains palatable, and feed intakes are not affected.

Why is one acetic acid different from another?+

The decisive factor is which microorganisms have produced the acetic acid during the ensiling process. Undesirable fermentation failures result in the formation of not only acetic acid, but also other unwanted substances that reduce feed intakes and cause high dry matter losses during the ensiling process.

What effect does the use of BONSILAGE have on protein quality and undegradable protein (UDP) contents?+

The use of BONSILAGE products improves the protein quality of grass silages and results in higher UDP contents. 

Are there potential savings from other protein sources due to the higher UDP content?+

Yes, the improved protein quality allows savings to be made from expensive protein sources.

How is propylene glycol formed in silage when using BONSILAGE FIT?+

The metabolism of the heterofermentative lactic acid bacterium L. buchneri naturally produces propylene glycol. (BONSILAGE FIT)

Is the digestibility of crude fibre increased when using BONSILAGE?+

Yes, improved digestibility has been verified in a large number of trials.

Bacterial strains

Are the bacterial strains used in BONSILAGE products contained only in these products?+

Yes, these strains have been registered exclusively for LACTOSAN and are only used in BONSILAGE products.

What are homofermentative and heterofermentative strains?+

Homofermentative lactic acid bacteria mainly form lactic acid when digesting sugars from plants. Heterofermentative lactic acid bacteria produce not only lactic acid, but also acetic acid and propylene glycol during this digestion process.

Does L. diolivorans also produce propionic acid?+

Yes, L. diolivorans also forms relevant quantities of propionic acid as part of its metabolism.

What effect do the composition of bacterial strains and the microbial count of the silage additive have?+

The quality of a silage additive is determined not only by its total microbial count, but above all by the speed of reproduction of the bacterial strains it contains. A well-balanced composition of bacterial strains dominates the baseline microbial load to ensure that silage processes proceed optimally.

Why do the different BONSILAGE products contain different dosages of lactic acid bacteria?+

Each silage has different requirements, and the dosages of lactic acid bacteria are tailored to these individual needs.

Can lactic acid bacteria be mixed with enzymes?+

No, the amount of enzymes required to achieve a demonstrable effect would be too high. This approach would not be economical. To date, no enzyme has been successfully approved by the EU as a silage additive in dose rates that reflect actual practice.

Do both L. buchneri and L. diolivorans remain metabolically active on the silage face?+

Yes, both strains are capable of maintaining their known metabolism at the silage face, in the presence of oxygen. This promotes aerobic stability in silages.

Quality & economic efficiency

Are BONSILAGE products tested before being introduced on the market?+

Yes, in addition to any tests relevant for their approval, the products are subjected to numerous tests at the laboratory of ISF Schaumann Research, on Gut Hülsenberg and on a number of other working farms to verify their effectiveness.

Are there independent trial results on BONSILAGE products?+

Yes, there are numerous results from trials conducted by independent institutes. Ask your specialist SCHAUMANN Consultant.

Are BONSILAGE products without DLG quality label just as effective as the products with DLG quality label?+

Yes, all lactic acid bacteria strains used in BONSILAGE products have been extensively tested for effectiveness and safety as part of their EU approval.

What guarantees the effectiveness of BONSILAGE products?+

All BONSILAGE products are tested very extensively for effectiveness during the approval process, and ongoing controls ensure that their effectiveness is maintained. What is decisive in practice is their correct dosage and distribution. It is recommended to use suitable dosing technology.

Is the use of BONSILAGE helpful even with third or fourth cuts?+

Maintaining and protecting feed values by applying BONSILAGE products is economically sensible, even with third or fourth cuts.

How much do BONSILAGE products cost?+

The costs of BONSILAGE products depend on the quantities purchased.

What feed losses are to be expected due to reheating at the silage face?+

Assuming a DM content of 30% and an increase in silage temperature by 5–15°C, daily DM losses are 1.2–3.5%.