Is silage additive cost effective when milk price is low?
In an over supplied global dairy market we are seeing further pressure on already low milk prices. When milk prices fall and cash flows are tight many farmers are looking to reduce input costs in an attempt to reduce the cost of milk production.
Are these questions familiar?
Can the cost of silage additive really be justified? Can we manage without using a silage additive? Is it worth using silage additive? Are silage additives just another unnecessary cost? Are additives too expensive? Will we see a return on the investment? Are there better or cheaper additives out there? How much milk will we lose if we don't use an additive / silage inoculant? How much extra concentrates will we need to feed?
The cost of using silage additive is typically £10 / cow / winter
or 3.5 pence / cow / day
Top quality forage is key to producing high levels of animal performance at the lowest possible cost with the least amount of concentrates. Producing the best possible silages, involves getting many factors right including seed selection, fertiliser, crop management, optimum harvest dates, chop length, silage additive, consolidation in the pit, speed of harvest, clamp sealing, face management, usage rates etc.
Silage additive is one of many factors that can make better silage and reduce costs
Using an effective silage additive is just one of these factors, but it is an important one. So lets take a look at the financial justification of using an additive. How will silage additive affect farm profitability?
Savings due to Silage Additive
- Reduced dry matter losses during silage fermentation typically saves silage worth £10 / cow / winter.
- Additive can save around 1.39kg concentrate / cow / day.
At £240 / tonne this can save £60 / cow / winter.
- Other potential savings are reduced waste on surface of the silage clamp, reduced losses due to spoilage and heating at the clamp face as well as reduced risk of mycotoxins. These savings can be substantial.
Increased Output due to Silage Additive
Animal performance trials on a wide range of inoculants have shown increased milk yields of around
1 – 1.5 litres / cow / day as well as increased liveweight gain on heifers and youngstock. Where concentrates have not been reduced we should expect increased output from using additive. This is the case even in ideal weather conditions.
Silage additive can be used as a means or reducing concentrate inputs and are particularly cost effective on multi-cut silage systems and when feed costs are high.
- 1 litre of milk / cow / day @ 25ppl x 200 day winter is
worth £50 / cow / winter
- 1.5 litres of milk / cow / day @ 25ppl x 200 day winter is
worth £75 / cow / winter
Even at current milk prices £1 spent on additive can typically add £6 - £10 to the bottom line. An additional £6000 to £10000 for each 100 cows.
Visit our Silage Additives FAQ's page to find out more about how silage additives can help to increase profitability on dairy farms and also to see the advantages offered by the the Ultra-Sile range of silage additives.
For maximum benefits use Ultra-Sile silage additives.
Using a good quality Silage Inoculant to treat silages can add an additional
£6000 - £10000 per 100 cows to the profitability of a dairy farm
For advice on better silage making and reducing feed costs, contact Richard Webster.