Preservation of Silage

Safesil Silage preservatives provide effective preservation of the most valuable and versatile of all your conserved feed crops – silage. Developed in conjunction with SLU, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Safesil silage preservatives use ingredients that are proven to be effective in preventing losses caused by undesirable bacteria, yeasts and moulds.

Safesil forage preservatives are safe because they contain only human food-grade preservatives, have a pH of 8, and will not irritate the skin or corrode machinery. Safesil forage preservatives are endorsed by the Swedish Dairy Association for their environmental safety, ease of handling and all-round performance.

Independent experts in forage preservation estimate that, on average, 25% of the crop dry matter harvested for silage in the UK is lost between harvest and feedout. This loss costs the livestock industry tens of millions of pounds every year by increasing the need for expensive bought-in concentrate feeds in order to maintain economic production of milk and meat. The majority of silage dry matter losses are caused by the activity of naturally-occurring microorganisms – aerobic bacteria, enterobacteria, clostridia, yeasts and moulds – which are active throughout the ensiling process. They generally use the most digestible parts of the forage nutrients, breaking them down and using their energy, while producing carbon dioxide, water and other by-products of little nutritional value to the rumen.

Silage preservatives – Clean fermentation

Unlike biological silage additives Safesil and Safesil Challenge actually destroy unwanted, harmful bacteria such as clostridia and enterobacteria, which compete for sugars with the desirable lactic acid bacteria in the sealed clamp. If allowed to multiply, these harmful bacteria produce acetic and butyric acid and large amounts of carbon dioxide and use much of the available energy, lowering the nutritional value and palatability of silage. Lactic acid bacteria on the other hand, use sugars to produce lactic acid, which lowers the silage pH effectively with no significant energy loss. Lactic acid is the only fermentation product that can be used by rumen microorganisms as an energy source. Lactic acid increases the palatability of the silage, increasing dry matter intake and nutrient utilisation.

Independent tests in the UK and Sweden show how Safesil Pro can help produce better silage reliably and consistently.

Silage preservatives – No heating

Safesil silage preservatives also destroy the yeasts and moulds which cause the most visible losses in silage. If uncontrolled, these are the organisms that cause silage to heat up once it is exposed to air, resulting in severely reduced palatability and loss of feed value, and also increasing the risk of mycotoxins damaging animal health.

Safesil Challenge

Designed for use when silage-making and/or crop conditions present a challenge to a good, lactic fermentation, Safesil Challenge is ideal for crops ensiled with a dry matter content below around 28%. Ideal when the weather prohibits effective wilting or when there is a risk of soil or slurry/dirty water contamination of the crop, the powerful action of Safesil Challenge destroys the clostridia and enterobacteria that thrive in these conditions. This eliminates the risk of poor fermentation with its associated high nutritional losses and foul-smelling silage.

Safesil Challenge is ideal for Big Bale silage, ensuring good fermentation and creating conditions unsuitable for the growth of fungi and listeria.

Safesil Challenge is very effective on grass, arable (e.g. legume/cereal mixes) and high-protein forages where the buffering capacity and low dry matter of the crop can result in a high risk of a poor fermentation.

Safesil Challenge Application Rates:

CropDry MatterApplication rate Litres/tonneAdditional information
Big BaleUp to 50%2Increase to 3 if high levels of soil/slurry contamination present
Red Clover, LucerneUp to 28%3Increase to 4 if high levels of soil/slurry contamination present
Grass, Grass/cloverUp to 28%2Increase to 3 if high levels of soil/slurry contamination present
Arable with high legume contentUp to 28%2 

Safesil Pro

Safesil has been comprehensively tested for all different silage crops (maize, legumes, wholecrop and grass) with dry matter (DM) contents from 28 to 50%, resulting in silage that is palatable and rich in nutrients. With a range of application rates depending on crop and harvesting conditions, Safesil silage preservative is suitable for use with different storage systems, including clamps, bags, bales and tower silos.

In addition to its ability to ensure a ‘clean’ lactic fermentation with minimal losses, Safesil is renowned for its powerful action against yeasts and moulds ensuring exceptional aerobic stability in higher dry matter silages that are prone to heating. Scientific and farm trials have shown that forage treated with the correct rate of Safesil can remain cool and palatable for up to ten days after exposure to air.

Safesil Pro Application Rates:

CropDry MatterApplication rate Litres/tonneAdditional information
Red clover, Lucerne28-40%4Increase to 5 litres if soil/slurry contamination is present
Grass, Grass/clover28-40%3 
Grass, Grass/clover40-50%4-5Mix Safesil 50:50 with clean water and double volume applied to 8 – 10 litres
Wholecrop cereal and arable silage30-40%3 
Wholecrop cereal and arable silage40-50%4-5Mix Safesil 50:50 with clean water and double volume applied to 8 – 10 litres
Maize silage (winter fed)25-40%1.5 
Maize silage (summer fed)25-40%2 

If you have a crop that does not fit those described in the table, please contact us for advice.

When applied at the correct rate with an even distribution with high volume specification pump such as the Silaspray SP Compact  and used in conjunction with good ensiling management – efficient compaction and correct air-tight sealingSafesil can be guaranteed* to give long-term storage stability of silage.
*Journal of Dairy Science 94:824-831


BaleSafe is a hay, haylage and straw preservative that will end spoilt and dusty bales and maintain the nutritional and hygienic quality of baled haylage,  high moisture hay and straw. It is designed to improve forage quality in any conditions and  particularly comes into its own in a catchy weather season.

Capable of preserving the quality of hay and straw at up to 25% moisture, BaleSafe will also preserve wrapped haylage at 50-75% dry matter. Its unique blend of non-corrosive ingredients include propionic and benzoic acids together with human food-grade preservatives which have been independently proven to stop the development of yeasts and moulds in their tracks.

No one likes to open mouldy bales, and this product will ensure the waste associated with moulds and yeasts becomes a thing of the past.

BaleSafe also has a role as a management tool as it may be more cost-effective to bale at a higher moisture than to incur leaf shatter and costs for extra turning. This also has the bonus of dramatically reducing dust, which is a bugbear for many workers who handle traditional hay bales.

Also suitable for opportunistic use in the face of incoming rain, BaleSafe will avoid the costly quality losses which are inevitable if hay gets a soaking.

BaleSafe is easy to apply in an applicator on the baler which is also available from Kelvin Cave Ltd.

BaleSafe completes the range of forage preservatives we offer which cater for every level of dry matter – from wet, 15% DM silages up to dry, 15% moisture hay.

Any hay or straw that’s drier than 15% moisture is likely to be stable and cool and should not need any preservative to keep it that way.

Moisture Meter

The Wile 25 is a simple, reliable and easy to use moisture meter. The dish probe (as shown) allows crop moisture levels to be quickly and accurately assessed in the field prior to baling to ensure  BaleSafe is applied at the correct rate. An optional, interchangeable bale probe is also available.

Our booklet “Silage Making – What really happens under the sheets” is designed to increase the understanding of the complete ensiling process to enable those involved to make informed decisions about their silage-making. Implementing the advice it contains will help farmers and AD plant operators to retain more of the crop’s original feed value and get more milk, meat or methane from this valuable resource.

Download our booklet “Silage Making – What really happens under the sheets”.

Download our Safesil forage preservatives brochure

Download our BaleSafe leaflet

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