Does the cost of preservation pay?
Return on Investment (ROI) of Using Inoculants
Producers often question the value of using a silage inoculant, wondering if there is really a return on investment. To answer this, Professor Limin Kung of the University of Delaware produced a generic table to look at what the inoculant cost really translated into, in terms of cost per cow per day. He then compared this with what he felt was a relatively conservative assumed benefit of 1 lb milk per cow per day. His data is summarized below.
Cost per cow per day (cents) for Inoculant
|fed in ration,
lbs per cow/day
Assuming preservation saves 1lb milk / cow / day, value 10 - 20 cents,
ROI is typically 3 - 6:1
Adapted from Kung, 2001
Maximize Feed Efficiency To Help Keep Feed Costs In Check!
Regarding feed efficiency, we’ll look at two of the most valuable ways to measure the effectiveness and ROI of silage inoculants.
Increased Fiber Digestion and Utilization
Biotal’s enzyme formulations (containing xylanase, B-glucanase and galactomannanase) were developed to improve forage (fiber) utilization in the dairy cow by breaking down non-cellulose fiber fractions, making cellulose more available for digestion in the rumen. The extended period of contact of the enzymes with the plant material during ensiling allows significant, proven increases in fiber digestibility.
More milk, improved yields and feed conversions:
The increase in silage digestibility achieved by Biotal’s enzyme formulation has been shown to produce up to a 10% increase in feed conversion and up to 402 lb extra milk per ton silage DM intake in independent feeding studies. At $18/cwt milk, value = $72 per ton silage DM/$25.20 per ton fresh (silage at 35% DM)
Independent feeding studies have shown up 3.37 lb extra milk/cow/day using Biotal Plus II. Value = $0.61/cow/day!
Read the following articles to learn more about feed efficiency:
Eight feeding decisions that can backfire, Hoards Dairyman - May 2008. By: Michael J. Hutjens (PDF)
Feed cost controls reviewed, Feedstuffs - May 08 (PDF)