With feed prices set to rocket this year, maximising the quality of home-grown forage with the use of a silage additive has never been more beneficial.

Andrew Sincock, commercial director at Agriton UK, says silage additives will potentially play an important role in supporting the bottom line this year and shouldn’t be scrapped in a bid to cut costs.

“The recent dry and cold weather conditions we have experienced during the spring, along with the rising input prices, could lead some farmers to risk skipping the use of silage additives this year. But with feed prices set to rise and the changeability of the weather, it’s not worth chancing. Quality silage can make a big difference to farm productivity,” he says.

“In addition to this, finding a suitable silage window after the wet weather in May could cause further difficulties for farmers so the use of silage additives will be more important than ever this year."

He added that the benefits of a silage additive should not be underestimated particularly when it comes to the ability of additives to help create a stable clamp environment.

“Microbes in additives can help to lower the pH of forage faster and further, compared to untreated silage. This reduces the likelihood of moulds forming and causing spoilage of the silage, or worse, mycotoxin contamination.

“Spoilage and contamination all have knock-on implications to cow performance and this risk needs to be reduced or eliminated where possible,” he adds.

In addition, Andrew also says that that the inclusion of yeast in an additive, such as in EM Silage, can help farmers save on additional feed inputs which could pay dividends this year.

“Yeast helps to produce propylene glycol, during the fermentation of silage. Many farmers feed propylene glycol to freshly calved cows to combat energy deficiencies, but there is evidence to suggest that 10g/kg DM of propylene glycol is produced when farmers treat forage with EM Silage due to the addition of yeast. This can mean there’s a reduced need to buy in propylene glycol, helping farmers to save costs.

“The yeast itself also helps to increase palatability which helps to drive greater intakes, improving feed efficiency and on-farm performance,” he adds.

“Through the utilisation of additives, farmers have the opportunity to make top quality silage from their home-grown forage this year, which has great palatability, is nutritionally beneficial for cattle and helps to keep costs down,” he concludes.