Making quality silage - Factsheet
High-quality silage of 72-74 DMD (dry matter digestibility) is central to the success and profitability of all calf to beef systems. It can deliver the levels of animal performance needed without excessive meal feeding. Get the Teagasc Green Acres Calf to Beef 'Making Quality Silage' Fact sheet here
The Teagasc Green Acres Calf to Beef advisors compiled a Fact Sheet on Making Quality Silage. Some of the key points are outlined below.
Click here to Download full 2-page Factsheet (PDF)
The key to consistently making high-quality silage is putting a plan in place, the steps of which are outlined below:
- Completing a budget - Budget how much silage you need to meet your farm’s requirements.
- Closing and cutting dates - There is a significant link between earlier harvesting dates and increased silage quality.
- Pre-closing management - A clean, green base to the sward is essential at closing to ensure high-quality silage. Ideally, all silage ground should be grazed to a residual of 4cm in March to achieve this.
- Fertiliser - Apply fertiliser and slurry (if available) as evenly and as early as possible once silage ground has been grazed off.
- Harvesting/ Preserving - Wilting is very beneficial to silage preservation where sugars are marginal and/or nitrates remain elevated.
- Silage analysis - The final step in the process is to complete a silage analysis to evaluate the quality of the silage present in the pit or bales. From this, diets for weanling, store and finishing cattle can be formulated.
Note : An animal will consume 2% of its own body weight in dry matter feed per day
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Contact your local Teagasc Advisor for further information on Making good quality silage. You can contact any of our Teagasc offices using this link Teagasc Advisory Regions here