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Evolution, not revolution, in crimped grain preservatives
Many of the things we take for granted in our modern lives have evolved over time.
The wheel, for instance, has been around for millennia. But transforming it from a roughly hewn disc of stone or wood into a high-performance lightweight alloy rim has been an evolutionary process - the product of initiative, innovation and a desire to make something that performs better than its predecessor.
The same has been true when it comes to crimped grain preservation. Since its beginnings, in the early 1960s in Finland, it was realized that an effective preservative was essential in order to ensure a reliable and efficient fermentation and an end product that remained stable during feedout. At that time the active ingredients available that proved most effective were blends of formic and propionic acids, which ensured a controlled fermentation and good control of aerobic losses during feedout.
While using acid-based grain treatment was a huge improvement over non-treatment, the downsides were that it was potentially hazardous to use, produced unpleasant fumes and was corrosive to the machinery used to handle it. These concerns, and the resistance from users they posed, were reduced by the development of the gaseous ammoniation process pioneered by Kemira. This reduced the corrosivity and fuming of the acids to a more acceptable level without compromising their effectiveness, and Crimpstore 2000S, introduced by Kelvin Cave Ltd to UK farmers at the start of the millennium, became the benchmark crimped grain treatment.
Crimpstore 2000S was shown to out-perform biological inoculant treatments (proposed by some as an effective alternative) in controlled independent tests, with far higher nutrient retention and better aerobic stability in the treated cereals. This resulted in better energy utilisation and significant increases in milk yield in dairy herds.
Now, however, Kelvin Cave Ltd has once again raised the bar with the introduction of CrimpSafe 300, the next generation crimped grain preservative.
The product of four years of extensive laboratory and on-farm trialling in the UK and mainland Europe, CrimpSafe 300 retains the acknowledged benefits of its forerunner but with even better aerobic stability (see graph below) and minimal fermentation loss. Based on state-of-the-art human food preservative technology, CrimpSafe 300 is virtually odourless and totally non-corrosive with a pH>8.
CrimpSafe 300 is designed for ‘traditional’ crimped, ensiled grain harvested from 45% down to 25% moisture.
When grain is harvested below 25% moisture, and ensiling in a clamp or plastic tube is the desired storage method, CrimpSafe Hi-Dry is the most effective preservative choice.
Both offer unrivalled, cost effective performance, setting a new benchmark in crimped cereal preservation – but don’t just take our word for it.
Read what independent farm contractor, Frans de Boer, has to say about the new product (below).
CrimpSafe 300 assessed on south of England farms
Everything Frans de Boer does for his contracting business is carefully calculated and based on sound science, so when he was asked by Kelvin Cave a couple of years ago to test a new crimping preservative on UK farms, he was keen to take part in the product’s assessment. As a West Sussex-based farmer himself and a contractor across the south of England, it’s important that Mr de Boer can recommend products which are tried and tested in real-life farming situations.And because his own farming business now includes anaerobic digestion, he is also keen to find the best way of retaining the maximum energy value of any home-grown feed.
So, setting about the task, he introduced the new preservative, CrimpSafe 300, on his own farm and to a selected number of his clients. “The first thing we noticed was how long CrimpSafe kept the cereals and maize fresh after the clamp was open,” he says. “It was longer than anything we had ever used before and it also kept the product very well after feedout.
“This is really important to us as we sell a lot of crimp to customers and they will tend to take delivery of a full lorry-load, which may last them a week to 10 days,” he says. “They reported that the crimp kept really well and stayed cold – right down to the dregs at the end.”
Making around 1,000 tonnes of crimped cereals every year plus 5,000 tonnes of crimped maize, it is absolutely essential on a commercial basis that Mr de Boer gets the process right.
“For our anaerobic digester it’s all about getting the highest possible gas yield from our crops and we’ve opted to use crimp as part of our feedstock as we believe it’s the most cost-effective in terms of gas yield per hectare on land that is some distance from the farm,” he says. “By leaving the straw on the field we are not bringing in the part of the crop with lower gas value but returning it as organic matter to the soil as well as benefiting from a longer retention period in the digester.”
A 1000-tonne clamp of crimped maize for anerobic digestion
Meanwhile, since cereals for crimping are harvested at 35-40% moisture and at their optimum nutritional value before they begin to senesce, they have a higher feed and gas value than more mature grain, have less disease losses and – since they are preserved in a clamp or farm tube at the moisture content at which they are harvested – they incur no drying or dry storage costs.
“I’ve never understood why more growers don’t opt for crimp rather than dry grain,” says Mr de Boer. “Why would you want to incur the fuel cost of drying grain when you are only going to make it wet when you either feed it to your stock or put it in the anaerobic digester?
“We know for a fact that we get more energy per hectare out of crimped than dry grain and if you are feeding stock, you get rumen benefits too,” he adds.
As for CrimpSafe 300, he gives it an emphatic thumbs up and will be using it for all of his crimped cereals and maize, running it through his fleet of Korte crimping machines, whether bagging or elevating into a clamp.
“Farmers trust us to do what we do,” he says. “And I am completely confident in offering this product.”