Proflake NC treatment before rolling will improve livestock performance and reduce dust.

This year’s drought has resulted in some extremely low moisture levels in cereal crops which cause issues when rolling and feeding. The process of tempering grain (adding water and a preservative prior to rolling) is common in Australia and New Zealand and is now growing in popularity in the UK and could be a useful way to improve ruminant performance from home-grown or bought-in cereals processed on-farm, as well as reducing dust which is unpleasant for the operator. When very dry grain is processed, regardless of the type of rollers in the mill, it will shatter excessively, increasing the surface area which can increase the risk of acidosis and respiratory disorders and reduce palatability and therefore intake and performance. Very dry samples typically also contain some very small grains which may not be processed at all. The process of tempering – treating grain with Proflake NC and a known volume of water, and leaving overnight – will swell the grain so it is easier to roll and produces a better physical quality. This reduces dust, is easier on equipment, and far more palatable and rumen-friendly. Proflake NC is a blend of ammonium propionate and propionic acid which can give the processed grain up to three months’ shelf life. This is important when the grain is sold as part of a blend or when low-use rates make it impractical or uneconomic to roll more often. The product also contains surfactants and glycerol to facilitate easy absorption of the water by the grain by softening the seed coat. The addition of 1% water will increase the moisture content of the grain by 0.8% so a 14% sample with 50 litres per tonne of water added will be 18%. The application of the water and Proflake NC can be done either by mixing in a mixer wagon, or applying separately up an auger. The product is best left for 12 to 18 hours before processing for optimum results. The addition of Proflake NC also increases the energy content of grain by around 0.5% at average application rates.

What the users say:

Phil Metcalfe – Foxberry Farm, North Yorkshire
“We are a totally arable farm and for several years have tried to add value to some of our cereals by processing them and selling to local stock farmers. The big problem was dust, especially when rolling dry wheat, which creates an unpleasant operating environment for us. Treating the grain with Proflake NC means, not only do we significantly reduce dust, the physical quality of the product looks better and it is becoming increasingly popular with our customers.”

Phil Metcalfe with his Proflake NC treated barley sold to local livestock farmers.
Thomas Atkinson with some of his Salers.

Thomas Atkinson – Mickleton Salers, North Yorkshire
“We have bought our grain from Phil Metcalfe for several years and were one of his first customers to try Proflake NC. We had been aware that cattle did not seem to perform as well on very dry, dusty grain, so now we insist it’s treated with Proflake NC and are convinced cattle prefer it and performance is more consistent.”


Tom Davies – UC Feed, Herefordshire
“We have been using Proflake NC
for over a year, and find it perfect
for producing a lovely looking
flaked cereal sample with no flour dust which is very palatable feed.”

Barley whose MC increased from 12% to 15% after treating with Proflake NC.

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