Seed and what else you need for making better silage
Yield, feed value and costs to produce: these are the criteria on which success of a grass silage crop is measured. Your decisions on soil management, seed choice and cultivation are all key.
Check your soil
- Test your soil every three to five years for pH, potash, phosphate and magnesium levels to identify deficiencies and remedial actions to take.
- Refer to Defra’s manual (RB209) or ask us to calculate nutrient requirements.
Select correct seed
- Consider: duration of ley, number of cuts per season, silage only or dual-purpose, clover or no clover.
- Reseeding gives the opportunity to replace older varieties with newer genetics.
- Regular reseeding can reduce your spend on bought-in feeds as higher nutritional value of grass means less hard feed required.
Silage additives for an extra boost
You can speed up and improve silage fermentation efficiency by applying a combination of specially selected lactic acid bacteria (in addition to the naturally occurring lactic acid bacteria).
Are silage additives just a preservative? No. We’ve seen trial results showing that using silage additives can result in a higher percentage of silage being recovered from the dry matter grass which was originally put into the clamp or pit. This can be as much as 3.7% more, compared to silage which hasn’t been treated with an additive. This means if you clamped 1,000 T of dry matter silage, with additive you would gain an extra 37 T of silage feed, compared to an untreated clamp.
There are additives for silage going into clamps or wrapped into bales. Your AF Livestock Inputs team can procure a range of products with varying application rates. Let us know what you need and we’ll do the work to get what’s best for you.
Wrapping it all up
You’ve worked hard to grow the best quality grass you can. You’ve cut it, baled it or sent it to your silage clamp (sprinkled with nutritional additives). How much thought have you put into the plastic that you use to preserve it?
Choosing the right plastic wrap/sheeting products can make a genuine difference to the quality of your silage. Use our table (below) to help you decide which product is best for you.
Your AF Machinery team can procure plastic products for cereal and grass harvestings so get in touch.
Whether you know what you need, or you’d like to speak to someone about making a change, contact us by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01603 881 906.