Claas has acquired the US-developed Shredlage maize treatment technology. The news comes just a year after Claas signed a license agreement with the owners of the patented technique, which involves chopping maize into unusually long sections of 26 to 30mm. Downstream treatment using the Shredlage cracker technology is key to the entire process. The intensive conditioning of the material enlarges the surface area of the chopped product many times over in a way that is designed to improve bacterial fermentation after ensiling and above all during digestion in the cow’s rumen. The aim of this process is to substantially increase the structural effects of maize silage in the rumen while simultaneously adding to the availability of the starch contained in all plant parts. This could lead to an increase in milk yields and improved animal health. “We are convinced that Shredlage delivers a clear benefit to the customer,” explains Hermann Lohbeck, responsible for the forage harvesting division on the Claas executive board. “By taking over this well-known brand, we are now adding the finishing touches to our technology concept for self-propelled forage harvesters.” Like the familiar saw tooth profile rollers, the Shredlage rollers are manufactured by Claas in Paderborn, Germany. The contractual details of the acquisition are under wraps, but the inventors of the technology used as part of the Shredlage brand, Ross Dale and Roger Olson, will remain on board to advise Claas and its customers.