Sep 17, 2020
Industry testimonial: “Lallemand provides the most modern technologies and focus on return-on-investment for the end-user”
Sep 17, 2020
Kokoferm Kft. – Dr. Tamás Kovács
Kokoferm Kft. is a company founded in 1994 that distributes Lallemand solutions in Hungary.
When did you begin working with Lallemand Animal Nutrition products?
Kokoferm Kft. has been working with Lallemand since 1994. In the first years, Kokoferm distributed oenological products from Lallemand. In 1999, the Lallemand Animal Nutrition department got in touch with Kokoferm relating to forage inoculant distribution. This is when we started to distribute Lalsil PS inoculant in Hungary. The first Lalsil DRY (Lactobacillus buchneri) field trial was conducted at Hód-Mezőgazda Zrt, managed by professor Szűcs collaborating with me. The obtained results were very promising. Meanwhile, Kokoferm started building its brand all over the country. Some years later, the distribution network was created step by step. Sales have been growing year-by-year thanks to efficient and high-quality products and the hard work of our team. In 2019, Kokoferm was granted the rights to market Sil-All products too. It was a huge boost to our market. The sales of the animal nutrition department of Kokoferm increased 36% last year. At the beginning of 2020, we got the opportunity to distribute the premium MAGNIVA and MAGNIVA Platinum inoculants (powered by L. hilgardii and L. buchneri). With these new products, we closed a superb spring season, and we look forward to the maize season.
Can you tell us a bit about the animal nutrition market in Hungary?
Hungary is a small country, but it has a diverse climate. We need to be prepared for every eventuality. The changing climate is also challenging for us. In the last five to 10 years, our experts tried to find solutions for these issues (water stress, drought, heat stress, etc.), and they came up with new silage crop species, ensiling technologies, and agrotechnologies. The best-known specialist is Dr. Szilvia Orosz, who brought us many useful solutions. For the first time in Europe — and maybe in the world — we started to produce early cereals, such as rye and triticale, and modern grasses like festulolium, Italian ryegrass, grass mixtures, sudangrass, etc. as highly digestible NDF content forages for summer feed. We apply double cropping (such as rye and corn, triticale and sorghum), which gives us more silage/ha/year. The education of farmers has been improving. Ensiling technology is also improved (efficient inoculants, proper chopping, compacting, covering, etc.). Thanks to these positive changes, Hungarian milk production has improved a lot. We also communicate a lot of innovative information to the farmers and experts.
We have two big challenges in Hungary. One is to explain and help producers to understand the innovative technologies and the importance of high-quality products (mainly inoculants). Another one is to “fight” against the widespread use of chemical additives, because more and more farmers use them without any established professional reason, despite their disadvantages.
What do you like about your partnership with Lallemand?
We like Lallemand as our partner because we get a lot of support every time. I could mention the professional background, field support, information for presentations and articles, advertising, marketing, and more. And maybe the main reason is that we also share the same principles with Lallemand: quality consciousness, animal welfare, education of farmers, innovation. Our favorite slogan: “You can work properly only with professionals”.
In your opinion, what differentiates Lallemand from other forage inoculant companies?
Lallemand provides the most modern starters and technologies. They focus on return on investment for the end-user: more benefits and better profitability with the help of premium inoculants. Some aspects that are valuable include: acidifying the fermented forage as quickly as possible; reaching the aerobic stability as fast as possible; minimizing the fermentation, the storage and feedout losses; improving the quality and the digestibility; and ensuring excellent organoleptic characteristics. All these make the animal production more effective and the health status of cows better while reducing the load for the environment. In recent years, Lallemand focused its resources on the most advanced technologies for producers with the highest return-on-investment rate.
Would you share any feedback you received from your customers about MAGNIVA inoculants?
The feedback from producers exceeded all our expectations.
MAGNIVA Platinum 2: rye silage trial in a large dairy farm in Csongrád county. The silo was opened after three weeks. Fermentation was rapid, completely aerobic stable, good lactic acid: acetic acid ratio (7,3). Significant residual sugar (10% based on DM!), excellent fiber digestibility (73 % NDFd48). Great organoleptic characteristics. Cows love it very much.
MAGNIVA Platinum 3: alfalfa silage trial in an average size dairy farm in Fejér county. The color is greenish-yellow, strongly similar to the original material. Its aroma is pleasant, spicy, reminiscent of pipe tobacco. 0% surface spoilage. High lactic acid: acetic acid ratio. Fermentation proceeded rapidly and well despite the relatively high ash content of 10-12% (target value <10%). Crude protein content above 20%, NH3/crude protein is below 1% in every analysis. Due to the enzyme content of the starter, there was also residual sugar in the silage. The two-week sample was hardly aerobically stable (12-14 days). Cows are very happy to eat it. The DM intake is increased, and milk production is increasing continuously since they started feeding this haylage.
MAGNIVA Classic+: grass silage trial (below 27-28 DM%) in an average dairy farm in Bács-Kiskun county. Silage smells good, spicy, good fermentation, stable, the animals really like it. The professional manager of the plant is very satisfied.
Did you find the change to MAGNIVA range a challenge for your market?
First of all, we have been waiting for a long time for the new L. hilgardii strain. It eventually arrived, and this is great!
The new MAGNIVA range has a positive message for the profession, and the portfolio is very complete. Moreover, every product includes the HC technology, which means good solubility, no sedimentation – homogeneous portioning — good stability, and better survival in solution. All of these things are great.
Premium products need time and strong premium marketing. Our well-planned seasonal work was broken in two because of the COVID-19 crisis. Our two biggest events were canceled: the Silage Academy event, which is the greatest Hungarian animal husbandry fair in Hódmeezővásárhely; and the Dairy Cow Seminar, where I would have presented information about the new MAGNIVA range. The farm visits were stopped in March, and we could begin the personal farm visits only at the beginning of July. This situation was very negative for the MAGNIVA introductory year. We did our best, and we had a better spring forage season than last year, and we are optimistic concerning the corn silage season.