Winter Feeding – Silage Testing
Silage is one of the core sources of feeding nutrition in a farming enterprise. Silage quality is dependable on vast amounts of elements in production, harvesting and storage. Having good silage quality is key to good animal performance, reducing winter feed costs and increasing profitability during the housing period. Grass silage is the basis of most winter feeding systems and expected animal performance is largely dependent on the adequate intake of good quality silage.
The level of concentrates fed on your farm is dependent on the quality of your silage. Knowing your silage quality is an important step in planning your winter feeding program to achieve cost effective results.
Conditions this year have been less favorable with high levels of rainfall and windows of opportunity to harvest been less than desirable. Key composition elements like Crude protein and Dry matter may be low which in turn effect intakes and reduced performance. Knowing your silage quality is a critical first step in planning for winter requirements to achieve performance and extend fodder stocks.
4 POINT PLAN TO AVOID PROBLEMS LATER
Testing fodder will give you some awareness of what you are working with. Tests will be valuable to farmers completing a TMR diet to maximise the potential of their forage and livestock. Testing is free of charge to all Corby Rock customers. Samples are analysed by an independent lab with results back within 2-3 working days.
Follow the instruction below to calculate what stock of fodder is available on farm.
Measure volume of silage in cubic metres
- Length (ft) x width (ft) x height (ft) / 35 = cubic metres
- Calculate tonnes of fresh weight using the following
- 18% DM multiply cubic metres by 0.8
- 20% DM multiply cubic metres by 0.75
- 22% DM multiply cubic metres by 0.70
- 25% DM multiply cubic metres by 0.65
- 30% DM multiply cubic metres by 0.60
E.g. 75ft x 30ft x 8ft = 18000/35 = 515 cubic metres
20% DM silage = 515 x 0.75 = 385 T fresh weight
- Sell under preforming stock
- Finish under preforming stock on straw + ab lib concentrate
- Maintain at least 25%of DMI as roughage to prevent rumen upsets.
- Increase Concentrates fed to all cattle.
- 5Kg replaces 10kg Silage
- 12% Fodder Extender blend
- Feeding 1kg replaces 4kg of silage
By products options
- Brewers grains
- 8Kg replaces 10Kg Silage
- 1:1 swap.
- Fodder beet
- 1:1 Swap
Price of by products should be considered on a DM basis only. Good storage and handling facilities are vital. Increased labor and machinery costs. Simple blends of straights much more cost effective at present
Corby Rock Mill offers a silage analysis service in conjunction with AFBI Hillsborough, who have a specialised laboratory and system for testing silage. This service is free to all Corby Rock customers and upon request of silage to be tested, a sales representative will call to your farm and take the required silage samples to be tested.
Once tested, a detailed report will be submitted by AFBI describing a comprehensive and detailed breakdown of the silage, showing essential information to create an effective feeding programme.
To request a silage test please make a request below: