The genetic background of bacterial strains found in silage inoculants is similar to the genetic background of corn hybrids. If a company is not advancing new genetics, it is likely falling behind in delivering value to customers.

Rapid React® aerobic stability* technology was recently unveiled by Pioneer as yet another genetic enhancement to its portfolio of Pioneer®brand inoculants containing Lactobacillus buchneri strains.

Pioneer brand inoculants containing L. buchneri have been available to North American silage producers since 2002. When these bacteria populate silage, they have proven highly effective in inhibiting the growth of spoilage yeast, thus reducing dry matter loss and heating in silages and high-moisture corn (HMC).

Laboratory results indicate spoilage yeast populations are very high on corn plants, especially if those plants have endured significant stress (drought, hail, disease) during the growing season. Spoilage yeast initiates the cascade of events leading to hot silage. With populations that explode when they are exposed to oxygen during feedout, these yeast consume lactic acid, which increases the pH of the silage. Higher pH allows other spoilage organisms to grow, causing further heat production along with increased consumption of valuable silage nutrients. The result is poor bunklife and palatability issues.

Two management issues with inoculants containing L. buchneri are that these bacteria prefer low pH environments and, even then, are relatively slow growers. This means silage and HMC producers must wait 30-40 days before the full benefits of using buchneri inoculants can be achieved. It causes no harm to feed these silages earlier than 30-40 days in storage; however, the yeast-inhibiting and bunklife attributes will not be fully realized. This is a concern for producers who want to immediately feed new-crop silages and still ensure the delivery of cool, palatable silages.

Knowing this was an unmet need of silage producers, Pioneer research microbiologists began the quest for new L. buchneri strains that would deliver their bunklife attributes much faster. The result? Pioneer brand inoculants with Rapid React aerobic stability technology. A new portfolio of L. buchneri inoculants that can confer desired bunklife attributes after only 7 days in storage. Additionally, 9 corn silage trials conducted by Pioneer researchers showed a 23% decrease in early aerobic dry matter losses with Rapid React aerobic stability technology. What this means to silage producers is that there is no need to wait 30 days for L. buchneri functionality, which allows producers to open new-crop bunkers and piles after only a week and reap the bunklife benefits on the silage face and in the TMR. This will benefit livestock producers who do not have excess silage inventory and must feed new crop immediately. It will also be of value to those areas chopping silage earlier and producers who find themselves experiencing bunklife issues, feeding even longer stored silage in warm weather periods of late summer and fall.

Rapid React aerobic stability technology marks the fourth generation of L. buchneri genetics that Pioneer microbiologists have brought to the market. They will be available for the 2016 harvest in Pioneer® inoculants 11C33 (corn silage), 11B91 (HMC) and 11G22 (grass/cereal).


*Improved aerobic stability and reduced heating is relative to untreated silage. Actual results may vary. The effect of any silage inoculant is dependent upon management at harvest, storage and feedout. Factors such as moisture, maturity, chop length and compaction will determine inoculant efficacy.