Latest silage results look promising for winter-feeding

Published 19 September 19

Silage stocks are reportedly looking plentiful for most producers. On the whole, GB grass growth this seasonal has been good. A mild winter and good weather in early spring meant growth rates started the season well. As a result, many producers have been able to adopt multiple cut systems, adding to overall stock levels.

Grass silage quality, in particular, is looking very good and so winter feeding prospects are promising. The latest results from Trouw nutrition show that although the silage is generally drier, energy and protein contents are good. This could lead to higher forage intake and a reduction in purchased feed costs.

The good weather in early spring led to rapid grass growth, which resulted in more lignin and a higher dry matter content. To compensate for the higher dry matter content, we may see producers use rapidly fermentable energy and protein sources to rebalance the dietary ratio of carbohydrate and protein.

Silage results table

This will come as a relief to many, following the challenges of last winter. Feed costs were on average 0.9ppl higher between November 2018 and January 2019 than in the previous year, according to figures from Promar milkminder.

Felicity Rusk