Scope To Improve Beef Margins!

“Research carried out by the Scottish Agricultural College confirmed that daily liveweight gain increases of up to 0.55 kilos will be achieved by feeding good quality silage with an ME of 11.2 as opposed to offering poor quality forages at ME of 9.6, cut approx. 2 weeks later” Provita’s Tommy Armstrong explained.

Detailed analysis carried out by Provita, using silage test results obtained this year and AFBI prediction equations, has confirmed the added benefit of using the company’s new Advance+ inoculant in store to beef finishing systems.

“The good news for beef farmers is that by committing to produce high quality silage, and by using Advance+ as part of this regime, additional growth rates of up to 0.22 kilos per day can be achieved.

“Using this fundamental data we have applied the AFBI prediction equations in order to identify how the best balance of profitability and weight gain can be achieved from 500 kilo beef animal over 180 days on a standard silage plus concentrate diet.

“This analysis confirms that feeding high quality silage treated with Advance+  and two kilos of concentrate will deliver predicted daily liveweight gains of 1.05 kilos. This gives a calculated gross profit margin from the weight gain of £109 per head for the 180 days. When assessing the impact of good quality silage that had not been treated with the inoculant the gross margin figure falls back to £63. Our calculation also shows that feeding very high levels of meal, i.e. 8 kilos irrespective of silage quality, will generate a negative margin figure for beef producers.”

Tommy went on to point out that beef farmers must strive to produce better quality silages, if they want to improve their margins.

“Obviously, this means making first cut silage that little bit earlier in the season.  In order to keep silage quantities at current levels, this may well entail taking 10 to 20% from the grazing block and ensuring that the first cut areas are treated with slurry and fertiliser as early in the growing season as possible.

“Re-seeding and improving sward management must also be considered. Research has shown that re-seeded swards will produce an additional 4 tonnes of forage dry matter per hectare per year.”

“Farmers planning to make these changes for 2015 need to start implementing these plans now.”