15 September 1995

ADDITIVES ON APPRO

UK LIVESTOCK producers will know for what job a particular additive has been approved for the first time in November.

This is when farmers weekly, in association with the United Kingdom Agricultural Supply Trade Association, will publish the third register of approved products for the UK Forage Additives Approval Scheme.

The scheme was launched two years ago to provide the UK with its own voluntary system of assessing and approving forage additives. It is being introduced in stages to allow technical experts time to prepare dossiers on trial results needed to justify approval of additives for relevant categories.

The latest register of products will detail which additives meet three different categories of approval.

The categories comprise silage quality (fermentation, aerobic stability, effluent and ensiling losses), feed intake and efficiency of nutrient use, or animal performance.

"Such approval should take the mystery out of the forage additive market and help farmer users select products for their specific needs," says Derek Ward, manager of UKASTAs plant health, fertiliser and forage additives division.

To gain approval products must be registered with UKASTA and trial data submitted for assessment by a team of experts from ADAS, the Scottish Agricultural College and the Department of Agriculture, Northern Ireland.

Additives submitted for appraisal which do not achieve significant gains over a no-additive control will be deleted from the list.

UKASTA claims few additives are not registered under the scheme.

Most of the established products are approved, and "own-label" products have gained approval through the submissions made by their makers.

"Out of 107 products on the list, 50 were approved in November 1994 and many more will be approved by category this year," says Mr Ward.

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"The categories give farms a considerable amount of information on which to base a buying decision" – Dr Raymond Steen.