Inoculant doesnt pay, study finds

11 July 1997

Inoculant doesnt pay, study finds

SILAGE treated with inoculant does not generate a sufficient increase in liveweight to offset treatment costs.

That is according to studies by Irish researcher Padraig OKiely of the Grange Research Institute, Dublin, and based on finished cattle prices of 93p/kg liveweight.

Cattle fed on treated silage gained by only 50g/head/day compared with untreated silage.

"Therefore, at current beef prices, the average extra return from feeding 1t of treated silage is £1.10/t, whereas the average inoculant purchase price was £1.35/t."

Because a range of silages were treated in the studies, results varied from no increase in lw to an increase of 80g/head/day. But even this was only as a break-even return when total costs were taken into account.

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