Preservation of Silage

Safesil and Safesil Challenge provide superbly 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 forage 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.

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 show how Safesil Pro can help produce better silage reliably and consistently.

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:

Crop Dry Matter Application rate Litres/tonne Additional information
Big Bale Up to 40% 2 Increase to 3 if high levels of soil/slurry contamination present
Red Clover, Lucerne Up to 28% 3 Increase to 4 if high levels of soil/slurry contamination present
Grass, Grass/clover Up to 28% 2 Increase to 3 if high levels of soil/slurry contamination present
Arable with high legume content Up to 28% 2


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 Application Rates:

Crop Dry Matter Application rate Litres/tonne Additional information
Red clover, Lucerne 28-40% 4 Increase to 5 litres if soil/slurry contamination is present
Grass, Grass/clover 28-40% 3
Grass, Grass/clover 40-50% 4-5 Mix Safesil 50:50 with clean water and double volume applied to 8 – 10 litres
Wholecrop cereal and arable silage 30-40% 3
Wholecrop cereal and arable silage 30-40% 3
Maize silage (winter fed) 40-60% 4-5 Mix Safesil 50:50 with clean water and double volume applied to 8 – 10 litres
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 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

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