5 September 1997

Most dairymen ignore forage scheme

THE Forage Additive Approval Scheme is ignored by almost half of the dairy producers in England and Wales, according to the findings of a phone survey company, A-Tel Services.

Of the 1000 farmers surveyed, 25% claimed to use the scheme on a regular basis and 29% claimed not to pay much attention to it, says A-Tel Services Sheila Hillier. Most producers believed that the scheme needed tighter control on identification of manufacturer, and on the variable number of bacteria applied by inoculants. They would also like to see inclusion of all animal performance data when improvements were claimed.

Derek Ward, of UKASTA, which runs the FAAS scheme, says that the fact that half the producers surveyed are using the scheme, which is still in its infancy, is good news.

And he stresses that only half of all producers use an additive anyway and then only when they need it.

UKASTA would discuss the possibility of including more information in the FAAS list, but Mr Ward was concerned it could then become difficult to read.

He believes the FAAS is a valuable tool to help producers shortlist additives suited to their individual circumstances and to verify company claims. &#42