Silage quality is the cornerstone of animal performance and profitability in all beef systems, and with soaring feed costs, the need for better quality silage in the yard is highlighted further. The higher the dry matter digestibility (DMD) of silage, the less concentrate that is required to achieve optimum performance, thus reducing costs and increasing profit.
In the table below, this concept is brought to life. With a standard finishing steer, 66% DMD silage will require a supplementation rate of 7kg of concentrate/head/day. In contrast, the same finishing steer on 74% DMD silage will require just 4 kg/head/day. Over a 100-day finishing period, with a ton of concentrate costing approximately €310, this results in a saving of €124/head or €2,480 across a group of 20 animals.
Where stores will return to grass next spring and if silage is >74% DMD, mineral supplementation will suffice and concentrates will not be required. Be mindful of crude protein levels in weanling diets as they require an overall diet of 14-16% crude protein to help skeletal growth and frame development.
When finishing cattle on silage and concentrates alone, and meal is being fed on top of silage with no diet feeder, feed must be split between morning and evening. This must apply if feeding is greater than 5kg of concentrate/head/day.
For further information, contact your local Agritech Sales Advisor.