8 September 1995

Call for levy-funded kale research

SOME of the levy money collected from all milk producers by the Milk Development Council should be invested in practical research on feeding kale silage using real cows, says Devon farmer Ron Patey.

"We need research done using cows not a pile of paper about analysis results on silage made in tubes. I want to know whether cows will eat it and how they actually perform on it," he told a meeting at North Wyke research station, Devon (see p43).

Scientist Raymond Jones, head of the silage evaluation unit at the Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research (IGER), Aberystwyth, reminded the meeting of the risk of kale poisoning if too much fresh kale was fed. "But we dont know if the poisonous substance in the kale breaks down in the ensilage process," he said. "We must look at this."

Research in New Zealand indicated sulphur deficiency in the soil slashed kale yields. He wanted to know whether there would be any response to sulphur here? &#42