Maximise home-grown grains with KERVA

Preserving grain at harvest is a task that must be carried out correctly. The right product application can result in many benefits, providing an excellent means of storing grain and improving the performance of the animal when you feed that grain.

Using KERVA from Inform Nutrition, to treat grain, increases the pH of the grain. This increase in pH rapidly kills off yeasts and moulds, which if not killed off will cause the grain to heat and spoil.

It can be used to treat barley, wheat and oats at harvest time from 14% to 22% moisture content. The treatment process involves covering the grain with polythene and it takes two weeks for the treatment process to complete.

After this period is over the grain can be moved or fed. Grain can be rolled or crimped and treated or treated whole. However, if treated whole it must be rolled before feeding.

Grain can be treated and stored outdoors in good conditions under polythene. KERVA-treated grain can be stored from harvest to harvest if stored in good conditions.

Noonan Agri Contractors and KERVA

Sam Sweetnam of Inform Nutrition caught up with Padraig Noonan of Noonan Agri Contractors ahead of the upcoming season about his experience of using KERVA last year.

Noonan Agri Contractors Ltd is based in Conna, Co. Cork. Maurice Noonan (Moss) started the contracting business in 1970. His sons Padraig and Seamus run the business now with five full-time workers with Moss still involved as well.

Padraig is pictured here, on the left, with Stephen Gumbleton of AMAC farm supplies in Midleton, Co. Cork

They contract work approximately 15km in radius of their successful tillage farm in Conna. Contracting duties include harvesting silage and maize, reseeding, slurry spreading, combining crops and crimping over 1,000t of grain per year.

Noonan Agri Contractors started the crimping side of the business in 2000. Since then Padraig has seen a shift from wet crimp to alkaline-based grain treatment systems over the last 20 years as farmers see the benefits of increased protein and pH for buffering from products like KERVA.

Padraig made the move to KERVA-treated grain last year with no regrets. He stated that the combined product in a single 20kg bag per tonne of grain makes the whole operation much more efficient and simpler.

Competitor products on the market involve the mixing of products to get the desired result, whereas KERVA is a lot more straight forward with the added benefit of the product activating faster, speeding up the whole process.

Farmers who contracted Noonan Agri and treated their grain with KERVA were very happy with the results. KERVA is an alkaline grain-treatment system for the treatment of whole or rolled grains for storage.

KERVA can be used to preserve or treat a variety of grains such as fresh mature grains at harvest (barley, wheat, oats, beans and maize, moisture content 14-22%); rolled, crimped or whole grains can be also treated, as well as mature whole crop and mature straw.

Treating grain with KERVA produces a nutritionally enhanced feed (increased protein content by 30% approx), reducing the need for additional protein in the diet.

KERVA increases the pH of the grain (pH 8.5-9.0) which results in better rumen buffering and a reduction in acidosis and laminitis. It is possible to safely feed higher levels of KERVA-treated grain within your finished feed while also increasing feed intake and fibre digestion in the rumen.

Padraig has seen that when the farmer has the correct storage facilities on farm for grain, such as clean dry storage area with good floor quality or lined with plastic, then KERVA is a great option. The higher pH of KERVA grain ensures grain can be stored on farm for longer periods and without aeration.

Padraig is optimistic for the coming season for treating grain with KERVA as crops of barley and wheat are looking promising and farmers will be looking for better value for their winter feed options.

Padraig purchased the KERVA from AMAC farm supplies in Midleton and is extremely happy with the backup and service provided by AMAC.

Benefits of using KERVA

In feed KERVA-treated grain has a number of significant benefits. Beef cattle fed grain treated with KERVA grain have higher intakes, better growth rates and fat scores.

KERVA preserves the grain by increasing the pH. This increase in pH has significant benefits for rumen function particularly on high concentrate or high grain diets.

Feed intake is key to improving all facets of dairy production. Animals fed KERVA-treated grains have shown improved feed intake, milk production, solids and fats, as well as improved condition during lactation and improved fertility.

The treatment process increases the protein content of the grain (by 30% approximately) reducing the need to purchase expensive proteins.

KERVA can be added at harvest via a diet feeder if treating whole grains. However, most farmers crimp the grain at harvest time and KERVA can be added through the crimper.

Benefits of feeding KERVA to the animal:

  • Increased feed intake;
  • Improved performance and profit;
  • Reduced risk of laminitis and acidosis and healthier animals;
  • Can feed higher levels of grain and concentrate for a faster finish and better fat score.

Benefits of using KERVA for the farmer:

  • Grains are easier to treat;
  • Reduces the requirement for purchased proteins;
  • Reduced fermentation losses or waste (compared to crimping);
  • Longer shelf life in storage (compared to other grain treatments);
  • Cost-effective method of storage.

To get the best use in feeding your livestock with KERVA-treated grains, consult your nutritionist or one of KERVA’s representatives at Inform Nutrition: