3 May 1996

Wilting has its good points

RAPID wilting systems demand higher costs, more investment in machinery, incur greater field losses during harvesting, are weather dependent and reduce milk output an acre.

But they offered advantages too, said Dr Mayne. These included lower effluent and silo losses and the possibility of higher intakes and increased performance.

"Wilting increases silage intakes by 20% but only lifts milk output by 5% on average," he said.

He reasoned, therefore, that "investment in effluent control systems is likely to produce a better return under our climatic conditions that investment in tedders and other machinery to enable field wilting."