Don’t forego quality when making baled silage

Making baled silage is an increasingly attractive option for many farmers at this time of the year,” according to Provita’s Tommy Armstrong.

“But the same principles that apply to clamp silage, specifically regarding a commitment to maximising forage quality must also be adhered to,” he added.

Armstrong explained that the key to good silage making is that of ensiling grass at the correct growth stage.

“A ‘D Value’ of 70 is the magic number,” he stressed.

“But that’s only part of the silage making conundrum. Trials have confirmed that using a proven inoculant is crucially important.

“In our own case Advance+ has been specifically developed to reflect the silage making conditions which predominate here in Northern Ireland. It has a proven track record of success.

“Not only does it act to reduce ammonia values by a third, it also doubles the amount of time during which silage remains stable at feed out.”

“And this is a key factor that should not be overlooked when it comes to making bales. They tend to have a much longer feed out time, compared with clamp silage. In turn, this increases their predisposal to forage stability-related problems. All of these can be overcome if the forage is treated with Advance+ prior to baling.”

Armstrong confirmed a growing demand for baler mounted Advance+ applicators this year.

“We have a number in stock at the present time,” he added.

The Provita representative also confirmed that significant numbers of farmers will want to make second cut clamp silage over the coming days. In this context, he highlighted the benefits to be accrued from grass testing, pre-harvest

“The results of the test are available within hours of a grass sample being submitted,” he added.

“It is a very simple way of determining sugar and forage nitrogen levels. This is a service that we make freely available to all our Advance+ inoculant customers.”

Looking ahead, the Provita representative indicated that the recent mix of hot weather and heavy rain showers rain will boost both grass crops uptake of nitrogen from the soil.

“Under these circumstances, I would strongly urge that a grass test should be carried out on all crops prior to mowing.

“The good news is that Advance+ will act to reduce silage ammonia levels by a third while also doubling the stability period of silage at feed out.”

For those farmers who are intending to use cereal crops ensiled as wholecrop, the Provita representative had this advice.

‘There is every reason for farmers to ensure that these high value forages have optimal feeding when it comes to opening the clamps next winter’.

‘Wholecrop forages are prone to heating up when ensiled, and again once the covers are opened. One way of reducing this is to use a proven additive, such as Advance+.

Advance+ comes in both granular and liquid formulations to suit all types of applicators. The inoculant can be used with self-propelled and trailed harvesters, forage wagons and balers.