What is feed quality? High-quality animal feed retains its nutritional value and visual appearance from the day it is harvested until the day it is consumed. Maintaining the nutritional value and quality of feed takes more than just proper handling and storage practices. To maintain feed value, producers must look for additional solutions such as fat and oil stabilizers, acid stabilizers for hay and forages as well as grain and feed storage enhancers.
Harvest and storage losses for hay and silage can represent a significant source of economic loss. As soon as the crop is harvested, quality and nutritional value degrade. When producers can utilize high-quality, home-grown forages, they can reduce the cost of buying extra feed. In addition, maintaining forage quality is the foundation of a good livestock nutrition program. Quality roughage should contain the maximum digestible energy and protein available to meet the needs of high producing livestock. Several factors can reduce an ideal forage into an average or fair forage. One of the most frustrating factors resulting in downgraded hay quality are mold and microbes (e.g., fungi and wild yeast).
Research has demonstrated the application of forage additives before hay is baled and forages are stored can result in a good return for a producer's investment. Acid-based preservatives for hay, haylage or silage can reduce losses from molds, wild yeast and certain bacteria, especially when the forage is not harvested at ideal moisture levels. Excessive microbial growth can cause hay bale heating, increasing dry matter loss and producing Maillard reactions, which reduce dry matter and crude protein digestibility. To combat these issues, Kemin has worked to create several effective solutions for high-moisture forage such as organic acid blends for hay and to inhibit microbial growth in silage.
When feed is taken out of storage and introduced in the TMR, many risks occur. The reintroduction of oxygen in the feed due to mixing can enhance a viable environment for mold and mycotoxins, causing a cascade of events leading to a heat increase and ultimately to massive spoilage. According to research, molds and mycotoxins can decrease TMR nutritional value between 5% and 10%.1
To help prevent heating and any other risk from occuring, organic acids can be added to the TMR. The combined multiple acids will act on numerous mold and wild yeast to lessen their impact.
Preventing mold growth during storage and in the feed mill is essential to retaining grain quality and maintaining nutritional value. Nothing can be done to improve the actual quality of grain storage, so maintaining the quality at the time of harvest is the goal. Preventing mold growth not only helps preserve nutrients, it can help reduce the formation of harmful mycotoxins.
To combat these issues, Kemin created cost-effective solutions such as flaked grain treatments and grain storage solutions to prevent mold growth. Kemin is recognized in the feed industry for pioneering the use of blended organic acids to control mold and wild yeast growth. Over the years, Kemin has thoroughly tested, evaluated and perfected various combinations to arrive at cutting-edge products like Myco CURB, Feed CURB and Ammo CURB 85.
Treating crops with a blended organic acid before short- and long-term storage helps prevent grain mold and bridging of the grain. Grain treated before loading into ships at port location helps the grain arrive in better condition at the destination customer. Additionally, treated grain often receives a premium price when sold in the international markets.
1Wright, T. 2013. Molds and Mycotoxins – Effects of Moldy Feed and Mycotoxins on Cattle. Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.