Good time for quality silage

The results for over 1,400 grass silage samples sent to Dairygold Co-op for analysis show very little difference in the average DMD (feeding value) of silage made in 2014 versus 2013 (69.4 versus 69.1).

Nor did crude protein change much (11.7% versus 11.8$).

DMD averages in samples sent to Dairygold Co-op for analysis have risen from 67.8 in 2011, to their highest level of five years in 2014.

Average crude protein has varied from 10.8% in 2012 to 12.2% in 2011.

Recommended concentrate supplementation rates for milking cows will vary by up to 3kg per head per day for silage with DMD under 60, compared to 70 DMD silage.

Dairygold Co-op advises suppliers to test all pits or cuts of bales to accurately determine required supplementation rates.

Much deterioration can take place during feeding out unless careful management is in place. When air enters silage it causes it to deteriorate. High quality, high dry matter silage, which is fairly common this year, is very susceptible to air entry and damage.

The smallest practical area of the pit should be disturbed at each feeding and a shear grab or saw should be used. Silage should not be left too long at feeding face if it has been loosened up.

The polythene should not be pulled down over the silage face after removing silage as this causes fungal growth and faster deterioration.

Make sure all animals have adequate access to feeding face. Mouldy silage can cause abortions and other health problems.


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