Crop Management News
The Fermentation & Pre-digestion of High Moisture Forages
By Ken Hamilton
Complex Plant Structures
In many forage plants, the carbohydrate fiber complexes such as hemi-cellulose, cellulose and lignin are partial or non-digestible in the rumen. These various plant structures can comprise up to 80 percent or more of the plant’s total biomass. These complex carbohydrate structures hold a vast reserve of potential energy and nutrition if it can be made available to the animal for nutrient uptake. Since the normal rumen cycle is short and doesn’t allow time for these complex carbohydrate structures to break down, it doesn’t release the energy and nutrition to the animal.
If the molecular structure of any potential nutrient is in too large of a form for absorption by the villi and microvilli in the intestinal tract, it will be excreted as manure and the potential value is lost.
Reduction of Fibers - Improved Nutrient Uptake
Appropriate beneficial anaerobic microorganisms, in high moisture fermentation conditions, encompass the concept of pre-digestion by increasing the breakdown time of the complex carbohydrate structures for an extended period of time before the forage is consumed by
Glucose is a carbohydrate and the most important simple sugar in animal and human metabolism. It is one of the primary molecules that serve as energy sources for plants and animals. Glucose is a simple sugar or a Monosaccharide in the Hexoses group (Aldohexose) and contains six Carbons, twelve Hydrogens and six Oxygen molecules. Glucose is readily usable in cellular respiration. Many hemi-cellulose structures contain from 500 to 3000 glucose units. Various cellulose structures can contain from 7000 to 15,000 glucose units, and lignin structures contain more than 15,000 glucose units. These complex structures need much more time to be dismantled into smaller units before they become usable to the organism consuming them. Extended fermentation, prior to animal digestion, is the key to converting complex carbohydrates into usable energy and nutrition.
Forages are evaluated on a dry matter basis for proteins, digestible fibers—carbohydrates, and mineral ratios. Values such as RFV (Relative Feed Value), RFQ (Relative Feed Quality) or TDN (Total Digestible Nutrients) are assigned to the forage. However, when the correct blends of beneficial anaerobic microorganisms that contain a complete spectrum of minerals adequate and essential for the cellular and enzymatic functions of the biology are employed, they begin the decomposition and reconstruction of the forage materials into far superior nutrient compounds, which is more readily absorbed by the animal. Through the fermentation and pre-digestion processes, the microbes produce both fat and water soluble vitamins, organic acids (volatile fatty acids- acetic acid, butyric acid, propionic acid and essential fatty acids, linoleic or Omega 6, which converts to arachidonic acid –AA, and linolenic or Omega 3, which converts to eicosapentaenoic acid - EPA), proteins and amino acids, digestive and metabolic enzymes, growth stimulators, hormones, mineral compounds and much more than was ever constructed by the plants. This superior formulation of new and additional nutrients not only increases nutritional intake, but produces antibiotics that control and eliminate pathogenic organisms and compounds in the fermenting forages. This benefit continues on into the rumen or digestive system, which offers a host of health and immune boosting benefits to the animal.
Biological fermentation and extended pre-digestion result in reduced carbohydrate structures for increased feed conversion and nutrient uptake to the animal. These superior nutrient forms of vitamins and minerals not only improve growth and production, but pathogen and disease control are also realized through the use of completely natural and organic methods thus eliminating the need for toxic and harmful commercial antibiotics.
Manure Management News
Manure Odor Costs Money
By David Widman
Odor economically impacts every operation, and every operator needs to manage their manure for the maximum benefits. In short, manure odor costs money.
Livestock, manure and odor travel hand-in-hand. However, what many may not realize is that odors represent lost crop nutrients and have a negative impact on livestock production. So what odors have the greatest impact on animal production, and how are these nutrient odors captured and utilized for crop production?
The University of Illinois conducted a series of experiments (two turns), which measured
the effects of various ammonia levels on swine. The results showed a rate of gain increase by
30 percent or 48 pounds more per pig (from 161 lbs. to 209 lbs.) when ammonia levels decreased from 100 ppm average to 25 ppm average. Using a market price of $.45/lb. live weight as a guide, revenue equated to $21.60 more per pig. Annually, this adds up to an additional revenue of $60.48 per pig (based on 2.8 turns per year).
Another gas, hydrogen sulfide, is also released during pump out, which can cause immediate death to swine when levels exceed 10 ppm. Other gases, such as carbon monoxide and methane, can likewise be discharged from the manure pit.
Improved Air Quality
Another specific benefit is improved air quality, especially during the winter when the air has to be heated to maintain the barn temperature at a comfort level for the hogs. When the air is able to sustain low levels of toxic gases, it does not have to be exchanged as frequently thus saving on heating costs. One producer by Vesta, Minn., saved $6,000.00 in propane costs. Another producer in northern Iowa calculated his savings at $1.00 per pig space in heating costs. These are actual results from treating their manure with Microbial Manure Master.
Other economic benefits not taken into consideration include the reduction in building maintenance costs, increased equipment life and a healthier environment for both the livestock and humans, which can account for tens of thousands of dollars.
Improved Soil Quality
When applied to the soil, a combination of nutrients in the manure and soil biology provides plants with nutrition for their growth and reproduction. Ammonia or hydrogen sulfide odors are indicators that the crop nutrients nitrogen and sulfur are already lost to the air. By retaining these nutrients in the manure, with the use of microbes, plants will have more nitrogen, sulfur and other available nutrients. When microbes break down manure, those nutrients are locked up in the microbial bodies and do not evaporate into the air or leach down through the soil profile. Bioaugmented manure is a valuable source of micro nutrients as long as the feed source is provided with trace minerals, which are the drivers of many plant functions and immunity.
Microbes also break down the salt, which is beneficial to the manure prior to field application. However, the current tests done on manure are based on the salt content of the nutrient, not when the salt is broken down. Therefore, the nutrient level being tested for does not show up on the tests. When test results show lower numbers for the nutrients being tested, they are not lost or gone, they are just being held in a more plant-available form.
With biology, nutrients can be captured in the manure, control odor and make manure easier to handle. Microbes are the key to holding nutrients in the manure until the manure is applied to the field. Microbial Manure Master microbes are the work force needed in a manure storage facility. These microbes begin the decomposition process and break down salts so the manure is more beneficial when applied to the crop field. Manure Conditioner works on toxins in the manure as well as in the crop field and will stimulate the Microbial Manure Master microbes.
Remember it is biology, biology, biology that enhances and makes manure more plant-friendly. Proper manure management is vital for any livestock operation to remain profitable and operating. It is best to stay on top of a manure nutrient management plan or the regulating agencies will have the say in how and what is done with manure. Put those odors to work for your operation and improve your ROI!
To register for ProfitProAG’s 2015 Winter Conference, call 1-888-875-2425 or visit www.profitproag.com to print off the registration form.
Join us for our Thursday, February 19th Teleconference Call featuring:
Ken Hamilton, Bio Minerals Technologies, Inc., who will discuss the fermentation and pre-digestion of high moisture forages.
David Widman, ProfitProAG Consultant,will discuss manure management issues and how manure odor costs money.
Unsecured and Secured Financing Available for 2015
Contact David Widman (who has over 30 years of bank lending experience, mostly in agriculture, and grew up on a family farm) about either input or operational financing for 2015 from AgriSpan. With qualified credit, an UNSECURED loan can range from $10,000.00 to $250,000.00; secured financing limit based on your operation. Call 507-640-1095 or email email@example.com for details or to apply.