MAGNIVA Forage Inoculant

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Lowers pH quickly

Specific and unique strains of Lactobacillus bacteria found in MAGNIVA Silage Inoculants quickly and efficiently preserve the silage, by quickly increasing lactic acid levels and lowering the pH to a safe level. This maintains silage nutrient and energy levels and minimizes DM losses.

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Improves aerobic stability

MAGNIVA Platinum Silage Inoculants improves the aerobic stability of the silage when opened, actively inhibiting undesirable yeast and mold growth, reducing heating, spoilage and significantly reducing dry matter losses.

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Lessens energy losses during fermentation and feedout

Inhibiting development of undesirable microorganisms with MAGNIVA Silage Inoculants helps retain the full nutritional and energy values of your silage, meaning when fed to animals, the silage will be of optimal quality to drive performance.

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Managing feed costs is crucial to achieving on-farm profitability

Conversion of forage to silage produces a long term stable feed that gives the farmer the flexibility to produce more, while cutting the cost of production.


L.Hilgardii CNCM I-4785
We discovered a gamechanger strain of silage inoculant

What producers are saying about MAGNIVA


“Our focus is on making the best quality silages we can as the basis for the ration. We also want to ensure that we feed as much as possible of the crop that goes into the clamp. MAGNIVA is keeping the clamp really cool, ensuring more of the energy gets into the cows.”

Name: Daniel family, Lower Rillaton Farm

Location: Callington in Cornwall, UK

Size: 160 dairy cows

Inoculant: MAGNIVA Platinum

Inoculants help drive forage efficiency

When your system is geared to turning home produced feeds into milk, forage efficiency is a key business objective.  For the Daniel family from Lower Rillaton Farm, near Callington in Cornwall, ensuring effective fermentation and good stability is the foundation of their silage making. Jack Daniel runs the 350 acre farm with his father, Chris, and his sons, Matthew and Alex. The farm is home to 160 year-round calving cows averaging 8000 litres at 4.68% fat and 3.69% protein and the cropping is geared to feeding the stock on the farm. The cows are housed at night all year and graze by day in the summer. In addition to 230 acres of a mix of permanent pasture and grass reseeds, there are 30 acres of maize, 30 acres of wheat and 60 acres of barley, which is fed with a 25% double-mineralised protein concentrate. Diets are developed with Matt Dymond from Harpers Feeds and the cows are currently on 25kg grass silage, 10kg maize silage, 2.5kg treated wheat, 2kg of a soya/rape blend, straw, minerals and 5kg of bought-in fodder beet.  This TMR gives M+16 litres with the barley/protein mix fed to yield through the parlour.

Waste pushes up costs

“Our focus is on making the best quality silages we can as the basis for the ration,” Jack explains. “We also want to ensure that we feed as much as possible of the crop that goes into the clamp.  Waste is just a drain on the business, pushing up costs.” Around 140 acres of first cut were taken in mid-May as they like a bit more fibre in first cut.  Second cut of 110 acres was taken in late June with third and fourth cuts being baled. The family cut and rake the grass, before a contractor chops and clamps it. Chris Daniel rolls the clamp alongside the buck rake as they want good consolidation. First cut analysed at 27% DM and 11.8MJ ME/kg DM while second cut came in at 32% DM and 11.1MJ ME/kg DM. “Feeding grass all year round, we are after a rapid fermentation and a stable product as it takes us a week to get across the face in the summer and the clamps are outdoors and exposed to the elements.” This year they will move to the new MAGNIVA range of inoculants for grass Maize has been a central part of the system for many years and was drilled in mid-April under plastic.  It was harvested in early October and treated with the new MAGNIVA Platinum inoculant.

Less heating

MAGNIVA Platinum contains a unique combination of bacteria, L. buchneri and L. hilgardii, which quickly produce a number of antifungal compounds that significantly reduce the yeasts and moulds that cause heating, improving immediate aerobic stability, meaning clamps can be opened safely much sooner. They also improve longer term aerobic stability, protecting the silage while the clamp is open. By significantly reducing the populations of both yeasts and moulds, the antifungal compounds produced by the MAGNIVA inoculants reduce the main cause of the clamp heating and energy loss as well as reduced silage palatability. “Stability is really important for us,” Jack continues.  “It takes us 4-5 days to work across the face and we don’t want to see the silage heating as this is just wasting energy and increasing our costs.  We had concerns this year as we had a wet September and there were signs of Fusarium, which might have caused the clamp to heat up.” Steve Symons from Lallemand Animal Nutrition recently took infrared photographs of the clamp, and they show no signs of heating across the face. “MAGNIVA is keeping the clamp really cool, ensuring more of the energy gets into the cows.  Temperature readings taken show the temperature eight inches behind the face was also consistent, a sure sign of excellent aerobic stability.”

Jack Daniel

Dairy producer

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“We now have a system which works for dry cows, meaning cows are calving down well. We are on target to get heifers coming in at the start of the block, which will help keep it tight.”

Name: Joseph Andrew farms at Silkland Farm

Location: Buckland Brewer, UK

Size: 350 Holstein cows

Inoculant: MAGNIVA Platinum

Four years ago, a Devon business made the decision to move to autumn calving and continues to refine their system with an emphasis on quality forage.

Learning to live with autumn calving 

Joseph Andrew farms at Silkland Farm, Buckland Brewer with his father Steve and brother Jack.  They farm a total of 220 hectares which is mainly down to grass, but they also grow 40 hectares of maize and 12 hectares of spring barley for wholecrop. The farm is home to a herd of 350 Holstein cows which until four years ago were all year-round calving, but now calve in an autumn block, starting at the beginning of August and all cows will calve by the end of December. “We are in a good grass growing area and wanted to focus on maximising the contribution from forage to help reduce purchased feed use,” Joseph explains.  “We felt autumn calving would be the best way to achieve this and are pleased with the move, but we are learning all the time. “In particular, we initially thought cows would graze more and this would be the way we would see the biggest benefits.  But we are moving away from this thought this year.” The herd is averaging 9000 litres at 4.3% fat and 3.4% protein.  Milk quality is important as milk is sold to Saputo Dairy UK on a cheese contract. They rear all their own heifers looking to calve them in at the start of the block.  Heifers are served at 12 months and when they have sufficient stature.  They have built a new calf shed to help improve health and growth rates and will look to have 100 heifers available to bring into the herd. At the latest PD session, 80 heifers were seen by the vet and 78 were in calf. All cows and heifers will be served twice to sexed semen before being put to beef. Cows are housed as soon as a group of 50 has calved in, justifying opening up the housing and giving a large enough group for feeding.  As 100 cows and heifers will calve in August, fresh calved cows are effectively housed from mid-August. All cows are housed in one group and fed a single TMR which comprises maize silage, grass silage, wholecrop cereals and a rape:soya blend supplied by Harpers Feeds.  The TMR is formulated for M+20 litres and the aim is to feed a consistent diet throughout the winter, only tweaking it when clamps are changed.  An 18% Harpers dairy compound is fed to yield through out of parlour feeders. At peak, cows were averaging 34 litres per day and now are producing 33 litres with an average of 180 days in milk. Consistency of forage supply and quality is key to the system.  The Andrews want enough maize to feed right through until turnout and for buffer feed.  They will close the clamp up as cows dry off to ensure they have silage to feed as cows are housed in August and before the current year crop has been harvested.  The drive for forage quality is being extended to grass silage too. “In previous years we had turned cows out as soon as we could but this reduced the amount of first cut we can make.  So this year they will be housed until after first cut, allowing us to make 90 hectares of first cut,” Joseph explains. “To make the best use of forage we need the highest quality first and subsequent cuts to get cows milking and keep them performing.  The cows are milking well on the winter diet and there is no reason this won’t continue, so we are happy to keep them in leaving more grass for first cut.  If we have more first cut, we can get better performance in the first 150 days of lactation next winter. “As the majority of grass is young leys on a five-year rotation, making more first cut will mean we have a higher protein feed which should help keep feed costs down.” The aim will be to definitely make four cuts and possibly five if the first cut comes off soon enough.  Around 60 hectares will be taken for second and subsequent cuts. Maize is grown on a 40-hectare block away from the farm so is grown continuously.  The field received slurry and the manure from the 28,000 broiler unit. They grow an early variety as they want the crop off quickly, so it is in the clamp and ready to feed.  They mainly grow the LG variety Ambition as it grows consistently well, although they have also used LG Pinnacle.  They are looking to make 1800-2000 tonnes per year.  In addition, they will buy in 500 tonnes from a neighbouring farmer. This year Joseph is considering undersowing the maize to help prevent soil erosion as stubbles are left overwinter.  If conditions allow it can then be taken as an early first cut or just ploughed in. They grow spring barley for wholecrop.  In total they will grow 24 hectares with half grown on a local farm.  They prefer spring barley because it is simpler and less expensive to grow than winter crops.  Also, having been in the ground for a shorter time it will be harvested greener and with less lignin.  They look to harvest at 40%DM.  While starch will be 26-28% compared to winter wheat at over 30% starch, they believe the other benefits outweigh the lower starch, especially as they can feed plenty of maize. Wholecrop plays a key role in dry cow feeding.  Close up dry cows are housed a month before calving and go onto a diet based on wholecrop. “We used to feed a straw-based DCAB diet but thought if we could feed straw, we could use wholecrop.  We now feed 80% wholecrop and 20% of the milking cow buffer or TMR.  We also feed dry cow rolls and have very few calving problems.” The Andrews pay particular attention to clamping of crops as they do not have a series of silage pits but rely on some earth walled clamps with other cuts being built into clamps on a concrete pad. “Having focussed on producing high yields and cutting crops at the optimum stage, we can not afford to waste silage,” Joseph points out.  “Our system is geared towards utilising as much forage as we can, so we pay close attention to ensiling to reduce the risk of waste.” Joseph takes responsibility for building all the clamps, buck raking and rolling to achieve a high standard of consolidation.  All clamps are sealed with an oxygen barrier, a sheet of black plastic, two heavy woven sheets and as many tyres as possible.  All crops are treated with Lallemand Animal Nutrition’s heterofermentative inoculants as aerobic stability is vital.  They had tried homofermentative inoculants but were disappointed with the results so now use heterofermentative products. “We have often had to open wholecrop and maize clamps sooner than we would like so want them to be as stable as possible to reduce spoilage and heating,” Joseph continues.  “Then we don’t want the clamp face to spoil as we feed out while can be a practical challenge.  For example, our current maize face is over 20 feet high and it is taking us 10 days to get across the face, so heating is a real concern.” They had previously used Lallemand Animal Nutrition’s Biotal Wholecrop Gold and Biotal Maizecool to increase stability, but this year changed to Magniva Platinum Wholecrop and Magniva Platinum Maize. Steve Symons from Lallemand Animal Nutrition explains that the mode of action of heterofermentative bacteria specifically helps improve aerobic stability. “To improve aerobic stability and reduce heating you need to restrict the action of yeast and moulds present on all silages.  Homofermentative inoculants have no positive effect against yeasts and moulds.  As they produce lactic acid which is a food source for yeasts and moulds, they can increase the populations.  Heterofermentative strains will improve stability by killing yeast and moulds while also ensuring an effective initial fermentation. “L buchneri NCIMB 40788 has long been the gold standard for aerobic stability but when paired with L hilgardii CNCM I-4785 in Magniva Platinum inoculants the two work in synergy.  During the fermentation they quickly produce a number of antifungal compounds that significantly reduce the yeasts and moulds that cause heating, improving immediate aerobic stability, meaning clamps can be opened safely much sooner. “In trials both maize and wholecrop can be opened and remain aerobically stable just 15 days after harvest, increasing feeding flexibility.  They also improve longer term aerobic stability, protecting the silage while the clamp is open. “Despite having to open wholecrop soon after harvest and work with a large maize face, Joseph has had virtually no waste allowing him to maximise the silage fed.  We will be moving to Magniva Platinum inoculants on all grass cuts this year too.” Joseph Andrew concedes they are still learning about how to get the best from an autumn block-calving herd but is confident they are heading in the right direction. “We now have a system which works for dry cows, meaning cows are calving down well.  We are on target to get heifers coming in at the start of the block which will help keep it tight. “We have refined our forage production to ensure cows remain on a consistent diet throughout the winter and have learnt that early turnout is not necessarily a pre-requisite for autumn calving.  Maximising production from forage is about year-round quality and maximising the amount available to feed.  At the same time, using the right inoculant means we can open clamps early if we need to. “We will continue to fine-tune the system to reduce cost of production and drive the use of quality forage,” he concludes.

Joseph Andrews

Dairy producer

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“I believe you get from the cows what you put in, and performance almost always relates back to forage quality”

Name: Joe Carter

Location:  Chippenham, Wiltshire, UK

Size: 300 Holsteins

Inoculant: MAGNIVA Platinum

Joe Carter has used the Opticut silage cutting system in combination with Magniva forage inoculants to help improve his forage quality. Following a move to earlier and more frequent silage cuts, dairy farmer Joe Carter, has improved forage quality which has helped reduce his purchased feed costs. Since changing to an Opticut silaging system three years ago, which is tailored to each farm and governed by pre-cut grass testing, the grass silage’s average metabolisable energy (ME) has increased from 10.5 to 11.5 MJ/kgDM with much greater consistency across all cuts, and from year to year.Current averages: • 10,939 litres per lactation, with 2,877 litres of that from forage this year’s target is to further increase milk from forage by 1,000 litres • Calving interval is 384 days • Herd has a pregnancy rate of 24.3% • Daily lifetime yield is 20.4 litres, placing him in the top 5% of British producersCow health, fertility and welfare are the priorities, achieved through genetics, high quality feed and cow comfort, with the aim that high milk production will follow. • The milking cows average about 35 litres a day, with a milk quality of just over 4.0% butterfat and 3.25% protein on twice a day milking. “I believe you get from the cows what you put in, and performance almost always relates back to forage quality” Mr Carter says.

How to reduce purchased feed

“Since adopting the Opticut approach purchased feeds have been reduced purchased feeds have been reduced by 0.5kg on average, from around 11kg to 10.5kg/cow/day,” explains Mr Carter. “We feed just one total mixed ration (TMR) to the milkers to keep it as simple as possible and avoid any potential issues from diet changes. We realise this reduces our overall production from forage, so to achieve our target of increasing production from forage we have to make higher quality, digestible and palatable silages to enable us to challenge the cows, especially those in early lactation, and reduce our reliance on purchased feeds.”

Cropping policy

All of the land is used to grow grass and maize, they operate a five-year cropping plan, with three-year grass leys and two years of maize. It means 50 acres of new, medium term grass leys are planted every year. “This system helps to increase grass quality and ensure consistent heading dates,” Mr Carter explains. “We began to change our cropping and silaging system about 11 years ago when we started working with our nutritionist Roy Eastlake. Our long-term goal has been to improve financial margins by producing a higher energy forage so that we can reduce purchased feed costs.”

Grass cutting dates and pre-cut grass testing

Five years ago the Carters stopped grazing their cows which allowed them to move from a traditional three-cut silage system towards cutting earlier and more often. To enable this, they began pre-cut grass testing. The first year was an eyeopener as they saw how the ME dipped with each test. “We saw that we should have cut two or three weeks earlier and that gave us the confidence to rely on the sample data in future,” says Mr Carter. They fully moved to an Opticut system three years ago, basing every timing decision on grass sample results. Their aim is to take first cut as early as possible and then every four or five weeks after that, up to a total of five or six cuts. Pre-cut testing carries on throughout the season, with Roy ensuring it is done regularly. “For anyone thinking of trying this type of system, I’d say start with regular pre-cut grass testing and let the data convince you,” Mr Carter says.

Silage team planning meetings

“Weather is also a big factor, so we don’t always achieve the optimum cut timings,” says Mr Carter. “We sit down in January or February with our agronomist, silage contractor and nutritionist, to review the previous year and make a plan for what we want to achieve.” The agronomist produces the fertiliser plan and contractors apply it as soon as it is dry enough, with flotation tyres enabling them to travel earlier. Slurry and dirty water are also utilised alongside the bagged fertiliser after each cut. “As cow numbers have grown and we’ve upped the amount of forage being fed to each cow, it means we need more forage. So in the future, we plan to grow more grass at home and contract grow maize away from the farm, hopefully with a local arable farmer. “This will enable us to grow and take control of all our forage needs and build up a bank of forage to cover our requirements in poorer yielding years,” he said.

Using an Magniva forage inoculants

An inoculant is used to aid preservation and retain nutritional value, either Magniva Platinum Grass Dry or Magniva Classic, depending on dry matter levels when grass is picked up.

Managing the silage clamp to optimise forage quality

When sheeting up, they use an oxygen barrier film, along with extra-large side sheets that meet in the middle over the oxygen barrier. This completely seals the clamp at the edges and weighted nets are used on top. As a result of this attention to detail, silage quality and palatability is increased so there is a lot less wastage and fewer refusals at feed out. “The silage keeps better,” says Mr Carter. “We overfeed milking cows by about 5% and then clean up what they don’t eat to feed to the heifers. By that point, it’s been out for up to three days and is still palatable. The ensiling process and specific inoculant is vital to ensuring a stable silage at feedout.” However, as a consequence of growing higher quality forage for the milking cows, they also need to purchase chopped straw to provide some effective fibre and lower energy forage for feeding to the dry cows and heifer replacements. “As straw is now very expensive and storing chopped straw is difficult on the farm, we’re exploring growing a palatable but lower energy grass silage. “We aim to achieve this by letting the whole or part of one of the cuts mature more and then harvesting this as a straw replacer. This could then be taken as either big bales, stored in a separate clamp or even a segment down the length of one of the main clamps.”

Joe Carter

Dairy producer

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MAGNIVA Decision Tree

Need help selecting the right inoculant for your operation? Download this piece to ask yourself these three questions to make the right choice.

Silage Safety Handbook

Take advantage of this free resource from Lallemand Animal Nutrition's silage experts. The Ensiling Safety Handbook offers practical advice on building, maintaining and loading silo bunkers and piles, as well as information on the potential hazards of naturally occurring ensiling gases.