Agricultural Economics Department
silage, silage additives, feeding livestock, cattle feed, silos, silage chopper, dairy
Through the years a number of materials have been suggested for incorporation into silage to improve the preservation of nutrients, nutritive value or palatability of the silage. In addition to being called additives, some of these materials are referred to as preservatives or conditioners. Especially during recent years, many commercial preparations have been made available to the farmer, who naturally wonders whether their use will be economically sound.
Thorough testing of these materials would require that each be used at several levels, with forages at various moisture contents, under different storage conditions and with many kinds of silage. Therefore, it is highly impractical, if not impossible, to attempt thorough testing of each. However, there is sufficient understanding of the process of silage formation, the requirements for preservation of its nutrients, and the principle of action of the ingredients used in the various additives to make sound decisions as to whether they might be economically worth-while. There is, in addition to this understanding, a rather large amount of research which has been done and reported, and this in its summation justifies the use of what is already known to make judgments.
In order to make an appropriate judgment, one should be able to answer certain questions, as follows:
1.What happens during the process of silage formation?
2. What does the additive being considered contain and what do its ingredients do?
3. What is the value of the silage and what is the cost of the additive?
4. How much preservation beyond that afforded by good ensiling procedures can one logically expect from the additive?
5.Can one expect to improve the feeding value of a silage by using a particular additive?
The discussion that follows deals with these questions.
South Dakota State State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, Agricultural Experiment Station
Olson, O. E.; Embry, L. B.; and Voelker, H. H., "Silage Additives" (1966). Agricultural Experiment Station Circulars. 207.