Mini silo tests prove conclusive on Co Armagh dairy farm

Co Armagh milk producer Dean Wright believes in having his silage operation made as scientific a process as possible.

“This approach gives me the best chance of having the greatest amount of control over what is a very complex process. Cutting date, weather and a host of other factors come into play when it comes to determining the quality of the silage that comes out of the pit come feeding time.”

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Gettin more liters from forage

Data from the Agrisearch “Grassland performance and its relationship with profitability on 10 Northern Ireland dairy farms” shows milk from forage ranges from 2260 ltr to 4550.

Two of the farms with this highest margin were managed very differently but also very efficiently, one yielding 6000 litres on 1 t of meal and the other yielding 8700 litres on 2.3 t of meal. Both achieved approximately 3500 litres from forage. This should be a realistic aim for dairy farmers in Northern Ireland.

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Making better silage leads to faster finishing on Tyrone beef farm

Alastair Doran runs a combined broiler and beef finishing farm on the outskirts of Castlecaufield in South Co Tyrone. The focus of the beef business is the purchase of high quality suckler weanlings – both steers and heifers – which are finished through to beef over a 15-month period.

“I normally finish 200 cattle out of the house from January through until, the end of April,” Alastair explained.

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Maximising daily live weight gain from forage

“Research carried out by the Scottish Agricultural College showed that daily liveweight gain increases of up to 0.82 kilos will be achieved by feeding good quality silage with an ME of 12 as opposed to offering poor quality forages at ME of 9.6, cut approx. 3 weeks apart” Provita’s Tommy Armstrong explained.

Detailed analysis carried out by Provita, using mini-silo tests and AFBI prediction equations, has confirmed the added benefit of using the company’s new Advance+ inoculant in growing cattle.

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