Studies with beef cattle (Kennedy and Carson, 1991) and dairy cattle (Chamberlain et al, 1990) have shown responses in dry matter intake of silage and animal performance through applying Maxgrass silage additive to unwilted herbage ensiled in clamps. Maxgrass (BP Chemicals Ltd) contains (weight/volume) 68% ammonium hexamethanoate, 11% ammonium hexapropanoate and 2% octanoic acid.
Research at Aberdeen has shown the benefits of using both inoculant (Weddell, 1990a) and formic acid based (Weddell, 1990b) additives on big bale silage which now constitutes around 15% of the total silage dry matter ensiled in the UK. The present study compared the effects on silage composition, animal performance and storage losses of Maxgrass treated with untreated big bale silage.
Second cut perennial ryegrass herbage was wilted to a mean DM content of 230 g/kg then baled by fixed chamber baler. Mean water soluble carbohydrate was 100 g/kg DM. Alternate groups of six bales were left untreated or treated with Maxgrass silage additive at 7.4 1/tonne wilted grass.