Advance+ inoculant dual benefits on Fivemiletown dairy farm

Nathan Hall combines his job at Fane Valley Stores’ operation in Augher with milking 55 spring calving dairy cows. He started up the dairying business as a new entrant five years ago. The Fivemiletown man is committed to maximising milk output from grass and forage.

 “The cows are currently averaging 7,000L and there is scope to expand the herd over the coming years,” he said.

Optimising output from grazed grass and silage are equally important for Nathan. He normally takes two cuts of silage annually.

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Advance + delivering optimal silage quality and almost zero forage losses on Tyrone dairy farm

Given his herd’s predominantly autumn/winter calving pattern, making good silage is an absolute priority for Co Tyrone dairy farmer Cyril Maxwell. The Augher man is currently milking 130 cows, averaging 8,300L over 305 days

“The cows calve between October and April,” he confirmed.

“The aim is to produce maximum levels of high quality milk from forage. This includes silage and grazed grass. The cows are currently receiving 2½t of concentrate per lactation.

“Our current milk quality is good with butterfats averaging 4.23% and proteins 3.15%.”

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Farmer doing mini-silo tests on his own farm

“As a contractor and farmer I regularly get asked what use a silage inoculant is, or do I need one?” commented Kenneth McIlory.

“A few years ago we saw the idea of using a mini-silo promoted by Provita for testing silage on farm. We were interested in trying the idea for our own curiosity and to be able to honestly answer other farmers.”

“The tests were very easy to do and the results were interesting, my son James and I farm together and he organised it.”

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Cut your meal bill by 2kg per head per day

With litres from forage on dairy farms in Northern Ireland ranging from 2260 to 4550 (Agrisearch), better forage utilisation is one of the biggest efficiency gains available.

Genetic production alignment, grazing management and better quality silage are the main factors influencing litres from forage. One method of improving forage utilisation is the use of an EU approved silage inoculant such as Provita Advance+. On farm mini-silo tests have shown yield improvements from 0.75 to 2.5 litres per cow per day. At 1 litre per cow per day this would require and extra 2kg of meal to achieve this. Another way of taking advantage of this improvement is, with silage starting quality being equal, cut the level of meal fed by 2kg per day or 300kg per winter and maintain yield at the same level.

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