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Inoc-U-Lock™ : Preserving Forages And Protecting Your Hard Work

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By Teresa Marker, B.S.

Feeding high-quality forage to livestock can help improve animal performance, health and producer profitability. Properly inoculating livestock feedstuffs with an inoculant that provides complete and controlled fermentation is key. The Crystal Creek® product Inoc-U-Lock provides many benefits such as reduced dry matter loss, improved nutrient retention (protein and energy) during storage, improved aerobic stability and a reduced risk of heating in the bunk. A properly fermented feed preserves the quality of the forage that is harvested and can ultimately result in increased milk production and improved animal health.

There are many inoculants on the market but not all inoculants are created equal. Many competitive products are not built to offer a complete fermentation process. Inoc-U-Lock uses a special, controlled fermentation technique, with a unique combination of specific bacteria and enzymes which drive the pH down in a fast, efficient manner so that both feed quality and dry matter are preserved. Each strain of bacteria in the Inoc-U-Lock products produce an acid: lactic, acetic or propionic.

Each specific bacteria group in Inoc-U-Lock works at an optimum pH range, driving the pH lower and lower. This controlled fermentation technique can be thought of as a relay race. As the pH of the forage is being reduced, another bacteria and associated enzyme will pick up the relay baton and continue to drive the pH down until the next bacteria takes over. The lower the pH, the better the fermentation of the feed. Properly fermented feed results in less spoilage during storage and feed out. The higher the level of good acids (lactic and acetic) the greater the likelihood will be that the feed is fermented properly resulting in a lower risk for the presence of detrimental acids (butyric) or wild yeast.

The diagrams on the following page show data obtained from haylage samples treated with Inoc-U-Lock, along with the corresponding target fermentation goals from Dairyland Laboratories’ website The diagrams show that haylage treated with Inoc-U-Lock reached all the recommended target levels for a properly fermented feed. The use of regular testing to obtain a fermentation profile of your feed can help determine if feed is fermented properly and help identify any risk factors the feed may have such as protein degradation and/or the presence of butyric acid.

The Inoc-U-Lock line of products are designed for use with many different applicators and can also be used for corn silage and high moisture shell corn (HMSC). Always refer to your applicator manual for proper directions. Inoc-U-Lock is available in water soluble and granular forms. The water soluble jar is 350 grams and will treat 100 ton of haylage. The granular form is available in a 25 lb. bag and will treat 50 ton of haylage. Call Crystal Creek® today to discuss the use of Inoc-U-Lock on your forages.