Winter preparation often begins with assessing silage quality and stocks. With some farms experiencing soil moisture deficits and restricted levels of growth at times this year, it is also important to undertake fodder budgeting to assess what silage stocks are available in the farmyard.
The first step will be to measure the silage pit or count available bales:
• Length x breadth x average height in metres (m), divided by 1.35 = tonnes of grass silage
• Length x breadth x average height in feet (ft), divided by 45 = tonnes of grass silage
• A round bale of silage (30% dry matter) weighing 650-700 kg will contain approximately 190-210 kg of dry matter.
Following on from this, it is important to assess what level of stock will be carried over the winter, and a realistic estimate of how long the winter period may be (always allow for at least a 2–4-week reserve).
The table below is calculated on a monthly basis during the winter period. Estimates will depend on the duration of the housed period (multiplied by the number of months typically housed).
For further information on fodder budgeting, contact your local Agritech Sales Advisor.