Maize silage has shown its potential to improve production and economics within beef units, according to trial work carried out by CEDAR.

MGA ruminant consultant Chris Savery told producers that feeding systems incorporating maize silage in both growing and finishing diets had higher feed intakes, improved liveweight gains and feed conversion ratios, trials had shown.

Groups of Simmental x Hereford Friesian bulls, heifers and steers were compared over distinct rearing (100-425kg) and finishing (425kg-slaughter) phases, explained Mr Savery.

Maize diets were compared against maize with grass and maize with wheat and were offered in the form of total mixed rations.

The trial concluded that diets favouring maize were more cost effective in both growing and finishing phases, he said.

“Addition of 2-3kg wheat to the grass silage finishing diets didn’t give the performance achieved with predominantly maize silage diets.

“Diet cost increased and the finished animal was less profitable.”

With maize silage, the addition of 2-3kg wheat didn’t enhance performance and increased cost of production, he added.