22 November 1996

GERMAN SYSTEM NOT COMPULSORY BUT…

THE German silage additive approval scheme is voluntary and awards the DLG Quality Seal to approved products.

It was initiated by the German National Agricultural Society in 1991, to help farmers who were struggling to cope with aggressive marketing of a bewildering range of products by more than 50 manufacturers and suppliers.

Farmers and advisers said it was impossible to judge the quality and efficacy of the different additives, or to select the right one for particular farm conditions. The approval scheme seeks to verify experimental results supplied by manufacturers, and carries out annual spot checks to ensure that additive specifications are not changed. The cost of checking trial results, and off-the-shelf product quality testing are paid by the applicant for approval.

Three ensiling benefits of using a product are taken into account: Improved fermentation, enhanced aerobic stability and effluent reduction. Additives that demonstrate better fermentation are split into four according to target crop. Categories are difficult to ensile forages, moderately difficult to ensile crops, easily ensiled forages, and crops that are very high in sugar.

Manufacturers can also supply scientific results claiming that an additive improves the nutritional value and performance of silage, increases intake, raises digestibility and enhances animal performance. A product can also be approved for preventing clostridial activity.

Data must be supplied from five independent experiments with five different forages from target crops. Decisions on applications are taken by a committee of seven experts.

By the end of 1995 a total of 24 branded products submitted by 17 companies had gained approval, many of them for improving two or more facets of silage quality. By far the largest number of approvals were for improving the fermentation of forages that are easy or moderately difficult to ensile.


GERMAN SCHEME


&#8226 Data must be supplied for five independent experiments.

&#8226 24 products approved.

&#8226 Most for improving fermentation.