Analysis of grass prior to silage making
This week we took our first fresh grass samples of the year. Despite the recent warm weather, crops are still looking to be 10-14 days behind this stage last year. The AHDB estimates the average growth rates for the South West to be 20 kg DM/ha/day, a 4kg/day increase from the previous week – slow progress!
These early samples look to have good levels of protein and energy but low sugars. Nitrate levels in these samples are quite varied, which is typical for this time of year due to different nitrogen application windows. Harvesting a crop containing excess nitrates (Target less than 1000 mg/kg before cutting) will have a negative impact on fermentation and reduce intake potential at feed out.
Additives? – An extra tractor rolling is still the best additive, unless conditions are extremely unfavourable. Pay special attention to clamp edges and regular compaction of thin layers to reduce spoilage and improve fermentation.
Please get in touch with us if you wish to send in your own samples, or use existing sample bags if you have any, tick the pre-cut grass analysis box when filling in the information sheet.
The Kelly Farm Consulting Team!
Sam Kelly 07777 696080
Charlie Davies 07904 601104
Pete Kelly 07970 942668
Office 01454 614624