12 May 1995

MOLASSES

MOLASSES should be applied at 9-18 litres/t of silage, says Dr Keady. "The aim is to supply sugar so indigenous bacteria convert it to lactic acid and volatile fatty acids to preserve the crop."

But here again performance did not measure up to appearance. "There is evidence to show molasses improves silage fermentation, but results from 14 comparisons show that treatment with molasses did not affect animal performance significantly."

From eight comparisons, in which untreated, molasses- and formic acid-treated silages were compared, treatment with molasses did not improve animal performance. Formic acid significantly increased performance by 18% relative to untreated silages and 12% when compared with molasses-treated grass silages.