The above picture shows treated with First Response vs untreated hay that had received over 4" of rain in the field prior to harvest. The mold in the untreated forages was extreme making the forage extremely low grade, while the treatment allowed the grower to salvage mold free feed.
For growers who have existing liquid application systems on their balers for products such as propionic acid; there is an inexpensive water-driven injection pump that we have available that automatically dilutes the product with water at a 10 : 1 dilution ratio. This offers a fairly basic way to inject the product in existing systems.
First Response is one of several concepts based on the pioneered usage of food grade silicone being used as a forage treatment to prevent heating and mold. It is applied at the baler. The concept is shipped as a concentrate which needs to be diluted with water to be applied properly. For ease of use, we recommend usage of a system capable of direct injection rather than usage through a single tank system (as it is more accurate on dosage and prevents the system from plugging up).
The product is coverage based, which allows for more consistent put-ups with larger room for error in comparison with other products which require you to modify the dosage of the product much more frequently based on moisture changes within the forage as it is being harvested. Unfortunately, the sensors on the baler typically do not register the changing moisture levels fast enough for the correct amount of product to be applied to the higher moisture hay, causing more heating in those areas of high moisture (and potentially mold) than the grower might want to see.
Stem moisture levels are another fairly unpredictable variable. If there is enough stem moisture present, it can cause overall moisture levels to rise above anticipated levels registered on standard moisture meters being used on most balers, which can also cause products such as prop acid to be under applied compared to what would be needed based on total moisture level once the hay has fully gone through a curing process (with stem moisture being fully released). This situation is exaggerated even more on HD Balers with added bale density.
If moisture levels are high enough, it is strongly recommended that growers ensure adequate spacing and ventilation to allow the moisture to volatize off. If the bale moisture is too high and the hay is stacked tight, you can run into a situation where the excess moisture causes juncture heating (and potentially mold) between bales which can then spread throughout the stack.
For those seeking a full system, or wishing to have more user friendly features; we also offer full deluxe systems offering a variety of benefits you won't find on more basic options. The systems for 2016 are currently being re-designed. However, please see below for pictures of existing systems from the last few years.
Picture on the left is treated with First Response and baled at approx 25%. Bale on the right is untreated baled at approx 25% from same field. Color of the alfalfa doesn't even tell the whole story. The treated bale was also much larger than the untreated, meaning that the treatment did an excellent job of preserving dry matter in comparison to the untreated bale.