Fantastic silage results

Co Armagh dairy farmer Dean Wright is confirming a tremendous start to the 2015 silage season.

“We took a first cut during Balmoral Show week with the second following at the beginning of July,” he said.

“And we are delighted with the results achieved to date. The analysis of the first cut confirmed a dry matter 27%, an ME value of 11.5 a 70D value and an intake value of 99, plus good yields were achieved.

“The grass was wilted in the field for 24 hours.”

Dean points out that these analysis results were obtained prior to the second cut being taken.

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Better preservation of crops

Mixed weather has coincided with the start of the second cut silage season.

“Those crops that have been taken are light, but quality is excellent,” explained Provita’s Tommy Armstrong.

“Higher dry mater forages are harder to compact. Under such circumstances regular rolling as the crop goes into the clamp is crucially important, as is the use of a lactic and acetic acid inoculant, such as Advance+. Its use will reduce heating in clamps at feedout, secondary fermentation, mould and yeasts. This will help maintain feeding values and reduce waste once clamps are opened.”

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What a difference a day makes

Farmers are being advised not to over wilt grass prior to ensiling during the current dry spell. Grass samples taken by Provita directly after cutting this week, and thereafter, following an 18 hour, 24 hour and 48 hour wilt have confirmed that dry matter values can increase dramatically if grass is left to wilt beyond a 24 hour period.

“Freshly cut grass samples had average dry maters of between 18 and 20%”, confirmed Provita’s Tommy Armstrong.

“This rose to a figure in the mid-twenties after a 24 hour wilt, and rose again to 40% when grass was left in the field for a further day.”

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Choosing the right silage inoculant for Northern Ireland conditions

At this time of year farmers are bombarded with information on silage inoculants. Many products claim to be better than the next one, so how can they actually be compared? With so much variation between years and cuts, it’s very difficult to compare silage inoculants or even treated verses untreated crops.

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Advance+ Excellent for Dry and Wet Conditions

Independent trials submitted to the new EU silage additive registration and approval system have demonstrated excellent efficacy for Provita’s new silage inoculant Advance+.

It demonstrated excellent efficacy on easy, moderate and difficult to ensile crops, including grass, red clover, alfalfa, whole crop maize and corn cob mix. These trials were done on dry-matters from 24% to 69% and on sugars from 1.1% to 5.78%.

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Maximising the Value of Wholecrop Silages Next Winter

According to Provita’s Tommy Armstrong, cereal crops grown for the purpose of making wholecrop silages will be ready for harvest over the coming weeks. “The good spell of weather in July, followed by the rain of recent days, has led to tremendous crop growth rates. As a consequence many crops will soon be at the ‘soft cheesy’ stage and ready for ensiling.”

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Excellent quality silage will slash concentrate feed bills

Weather permitting, renowned Co Down suckler beef producer Sam Chesney will be cutting silage in a fortnight. But it’s the performance of silage made four years ago that has really caught his attention over recent days. “Like many farmers I ran out of last year’s silage stocks some time ago and had no option but … Read more

Total Attention to Detail is the Real Secret Behind Good Silage Making

This week saw the 2013 UGS Grassland Farmer of the Year Albert O’Neill, from Artigarvan in North Co Tyrone, sowing fertiliser on silage ground. However, preparation for this year’s silage season got underway prior to Christmas when all the relevant fields were soil tested. “We produce about 2,000 tonnes of grass silage each year and … Read more

‘Advance’ silage inoculant – independent trials confirm its many benefits

One thing we are not blessed with in Northern Ireland is predictable weather. We have just ‘endured’ one of the coolest and wettest spring seasons on record. However, we could all be complaining about a drought before the end of June, such are the vagaries of our climate. Grass silage is the most important forage … Read more