Grass silage is the most important forage crop produced in this part of the world. Consider the facts: cattle were housed in some parts of Northern Ireland last September with these same animals still inside, given the absolute lack of growth across most grazing areas so far this year.
It is, therefore, crucially important for livestock farmers to make the best quality silage they can and in sufficient quantity that it will cover their needs for at least seven, or possibly, eight months of the year.
When all is said and done the difference in cost between making good and bad silage is not that different: swards will, invariably, receive the same amount of fertiliser and contracting costs in either case will be about the same. What does make a real difference, though, is cutting stage and the use –or not – of a good additive.
Assuming ground conditions are suitable, a growing number of local farmers will cut around the same date every year, thereby maximising forage digestibility, i.e. D Value of 70+. With this cooler weather many farmers may expect heading date to be much later, however most grass will start to head no more that one week later than normal. But irrespective of cutting date other factors, such as, forage dry matters and sugar contents will come into play. One way of ensuring that an optimal fermentation pattern is achieved, irrespective of what silage making factors are in play, is to use a proven silage inoculant, and in this regard Advance, from Provita, sits at the very top of the ‘satisfaction charts’ here in Northern Ireland.
Provita’s Tommy Armstrong takes up the story:
Advance combines three unique strains of bacteria to optimise silage production across a range of environmental conditions. The bacteria are supported by a supply of enzymes which help release sugars to give more reliable fermentation, particularly in years where sugars level may be lower than normal. To give the bacteria a kick start and ensure a rapid fermentation, there are also some free sugars in the additive.
“In independent trials, treatment of silage with Advance resulted in silage at pH4 after 24-48 hours rather than four to five days,” he explained.
“This resulted in less losses, 1.1 units of extra ME and 0.4 units of extra protein. In terms of performance, the benefits of this extra quality were 15% higher silage intake, 1.3 litres of extra milk and a 5.3% increase in milk protein. The return on cost is calculated at 4 to 1 for Advance. This represents exceptional value for money.
Advance comes in both granular and liquid formulations to suit all types standard applicator. The inoculant can be used with self-propelled and trailed harvesters and forage wagons.
John Martin, from Greyabbey in Co Down, runs a mixed farming enterprise comprising 500 sheep and 25 suckler cows. A former winner of the Ulster Grassland Society’s Silage Award, he has used Advance over the past number of years to consistently produce conserved forages of the highest quality.
“We have had consistently good silage using Advance even in wet years and difficult conditions,” John explained.
Alan Irwin runs the 170 Redhouse Holstein herd in Benburb, County Tyrone. As the cows are in all year around grass silage makes up the largest part of the herds diet, Alan therefore considers it essential that silage is made to the highest possible standard. Approximately 2500 tonnes of silage is ensiled using a 3 cut system. Ideally 1st cut is ensiled early May with a D value of 70 and dry matter of 25%, it is mowed and wilted and then rowed 2 to 1. Alan realises that there is no such thing as standard silage due to the variables from year to year and cut to cut and adjusts his ration monthly depending on silage quality.
To help make the best silage possible regardless of the conditions, Alan uses Advance silage inoculant. He suggests there is little difference between good silage additives but considers Advance excellent value for money.
Silage Inoculant Applicator Deals Available
Provita can provide farmers and contractors with the means to apply Advance accurately on all types of silage making machines. These can be çab controlled non-blocking powder, standard liquid, digitally controlled liquid and ultra low volume. These can fit self propelled machines, trailed harvesters, balers and silage wagons. Very competitive deals are available when using these machines along with Provita Advance.
For more information freephone Provita in Omagh on 0800 3284 982 or call the Northern Ireland representative Tommy Armstrong on 07720101444.
For more information on Advance silage inoculant click here.
To see the latest advert on Advance silage inoculant click here.