Maximising the Quality of Second Cut Silage Crops

Provita’s Tommy Armstrong has confirmed to Farming Life that a significant number of second cut silage crops will be ready for harvesting over the coming days.

 “Given that the current warm, dry conditions are likely to continue well into next week, a twelve hour wilt is more than sufficient,” he stressed. If cut forage is left in the field for 24 hours, then the likelihood of it losing too much moisture and then heating at feed out is particularly strong.” 

Tommy continued:

 “We are advising farmers and contractors to cut after 11.00am in the day, in order to maximise available sugar levels in the forage they are ensiling. Rolling the pit as it is being ensiled is essential in these conditions to reduce the heating and spoilage at feed out. “The use of a proven additive is also strongly advised in order to both optimise fermentation patterns and reduce the threat of heating within the clamp.” ‘Advance’ inoculant, from Provita, 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,” explained Tommy Armstrong. “This resulted in less losses, 1.1 units of extra ME and 0.4 units of extra protein.”   


Tommy concluded:

 “Making good silage is the best way for farmers to ensure they get the most from the forage available to them next winter. “As forage stocks are so low it is critical that livestock farmers build up stocks of high quality forage for the 2013/2014 housing period.”