This is what really happens when you inoculate your silage with too many bacteria……

….. the bacteria quickly cause a log-jam in a specific area, which “switches on” a chemical messenger, which tells ALL the bacteria/micro-organisms in the environment, to co-operate, to reduce competition, and to SLOW DOWN (Stationary Phase). It’s known as Quorum Sensing, because the micro-organisms do actually all agree to cease hostilities.

 It’s exactly the wrong thing to do. Imagine you’ve actually succeeded in adding 1,000,000 lactic acid bacteria to every gramme of grass/maize/whole-crop you are harvesting (nature would have a “normal” population of around 200,000). They grow quickly, eating up all the valuable carbohydrates (sugars) to drop pH rapidly, swamping the environment, and creating almost exclusively lactic acid. They cause a rapid switch-on of Quorum Sensing, stopping the competition that would normally balance and dominate the pathogens, leaving great swathes of yeasts, moulds, and thermoduric bacteria, just waiting for the environment to change, so they can kick into (secondary fermentation and aerobic stability wrecking) action.

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