Animal Feed – Grain preservation
Quinns are one of the largest grain merchants in Leinster and trade 120,000 tonnes of cereals annually. As well as being active grain merchants, we also promote different options of grain preservation methods on farm, therefore farmers who grow their own grain can preserve and store grain conveniently to feed to their animals over the winter months.
Options of Grain preservation
Propcorn Nc – This is a propionic acid based product but it’s a non corrosive product therefore safe to us and no harm is caused to machines or stores in the process. Propcorn NC is generally applied through a crimping machine at harvest – the grain can be either rolled or kept whole. Generally grain from 15% – 24% moisture can be propcorn treated. There are different application rates depending on a)moisture of grain b) length of storage and c) whether it’s to be stored whole or rolled. This is a very successful method of grain preservation and is very cost effective
Crimping – This refers to the treatment of high moisture grain – 28% – 35%. The ideal moisture to crimp at is 32 – 35% as the starch is particularly digestible at this stage and it’s a very safe way of feeding high levels of cereals to livestock. The grain is generally cut 3 weeks earlier than conventional combining and it is ran through a crimping machine where the grains are cracked and an additive called crimpstore is applied (again rates vary depending on moisture of crop). The grain is than clamped in a pit. Ideally all walls should be lined with plastic and the pit is very well rolled and covered down with a heavy duty cover.
Alkalage or Alkagrain – This treatment can be used either on the complete cereal crop i.e. grain and straw which is called Alkalage or just on the grain which is referred to as Alkagrain. As well as preserving the grain it also increases the protein of the crop by 3 – 5%. Like the crimping process the alkalage is pitted and covered down but the alkagrain only has to be covered for 2 – 3 weeks until all the gas is released and the grain will than preserve without any cover. The alkagrain does not need to be rolled.
Wholecrop Silage – This refers to when the entire crop is harvested with a silage harvest similar to alkalage but at a higher moisture – ideally should be cut at 30 – 40% moisture. A cracker on the silage harvester head is used to crack the grain and an additive called Agros corn is applied to preserve and eliminate secondary fermentation on opening the pit. Wholecrop is a very palatable highly digestible form of forage and can be a huge addition in dairy cow diets. It would be equivalent to very high DMD grass silage.
Finally Quinns offer a system of where we take in the grain from the grower and either treat it or dry it and roll it and than return to the grower for home feeding or they can have the option of buying it in a complete ration manufactured by Quinns.
For further details on grain preservation methods and for costings on each please contact your Quinns representative.