Now is the time to put plans in place for this year’s silage crop. Agritech’s forage specialist Bil Ryan is advising farmers to ensure the soil nutrient status is adequate to grow a good crop, and farmers should be aiming to get all slurry applied to silage ground before the end of March. Ideally the grazing rotation on silage ground should be complete before the first week of April. Aim to harvest well before the heading date, as maximum quality occurs at least ten days before heading date.
According to Bil, “Lower level DMD silage is having a significant negative impact on animal performance, but furthermore is significantly increasing costs, due to an over reliance on purchased concentrate feed”.
Grass silage is now a relatively expensive crop to grow and ensile. All Agritech distributors are qualified to assist farmers to get the best they can from their silage ground. Assistance is available with choosing the best grass mixture, right up to the point of harvest, where the use of a quality silage additive is strongly recommended. A good quality silage additive speeds up the fermentation and retains more of the feed value within the pit in addition to retaining more actual silage in the pit. Additives such as Graszyme Sugarboost from Agritech are independently proven to contribute +1 litre of milk per cow per day, and +110 grams DLWG in beef animals.
Bil concluded “we know that farmers can turn grazed grass into profit. Equally we know that it is very difficult to convert purchased concentrate into profit, but if every farmer can bring their cutting date forward by just one week and invest in a quality silage additive this will add the equivalent of a minimum of 6DMD units to their silage. This alone will save 1.5kgs of concentrate for every animal consuming silage on the farm, worth a massive 35-40cent per day or in the region of €50 per animal over a 135 day winter”.
For further information or advice do not hesitate to contact your local distributor.