A potential shortage of propionic acid this year causes concern for the industry, as many farmers plan to feed more home-grown cereals to their livestock.

“Consequently, some farms may have to investigate an alternative grain preservation approach this season to safeguard valuable stored cereals from spoilage with yeasts and moulds,” said Kirstie Jones from Azelis Animal Nutrition.

“Drying your grain before storage is one option to consider. “This reduces its moisture content to make the stored crop less susceptible to mould, but this can be costly and difficult – certainly if you don’t already have a grain drier.”

A range of buffered propionic acid-based products are still available. However, following poor usage experience in the past perhaps, some farmers may not trust buffered propionic acid preservative products to do the job.

However, not all buffered propionic acid products are the same. Some of the newer alternatives, such as ProSid™ MI 700 – which are based on highly concentrated propionic acid and propionic glycerol esters – are actually very effective at preventing spoilage due to microbial activity.

“Compared with straight propionic acid or the more traditional ammonium propionate buffered propionic acids, these esterified products are formulated in a way that offers consistent distribution throughout the grain. Importantly, they also offer longer lasting, more persistent protection from mould activity because they are less volatile. In addition, they are much safer to handle and don’t come with a pungent smell.

“This innovative esterified product option, produced by Swedish organic acid producer Perstorp, is now available in the UK from Azelis Animal Nutrition,” she concluded.