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Forage Analysis Report 2018


While the silage of 2018 is analysing marginally better than last year’s crop, there are huge variations between samples.

Pitted Grass Silage Results

The average Dry Matter Digestibility for 2018 across silage cuts is 70%. The lowest DMD is at 51.5% and the the highest at 83%.

Fibre levels for 2018 are marginally lower than 2017.

The average Metabolisable Energy level is 10.5 MJ/kg, the lowest ME is 8.2 MJ/kg and the highest is 12.6 MJ/kg.

The average Crude Protein for is 14.25% , the lowest CP is 10.9% versus the highest at 18.7%.

The average Ammonia Nitrogen level is at 3.7% which is ideal. On average silage is well preserved, with an average pH level of 4.0.

The Dry Matter figures show a high level of variation, the lowest DM is 15.8%, versus the highest at 48.5%.

On average the Dry Matter figure is higher than other years, which could lead to pit face instability.

Grass silage is high in Potassium, which will increase the risk of Milk Fever occurring in freshly calved cows.

Maize Silage Results

Maize silage is analysing very well.

Average Dry Matter is 27.5%, the highest DM is 38%.

The average Starch content is 28%, while the highest is 35%.

The average Ash content is at 4.38%, which is excellent.

NOTE: Overall while averages are an indication, the ranges within individual results are large and thereby highlight the importance of getting silage analysed.

High Dry Matter Silage

  • High dry matter silage is unstable silage and will heat at the pit face and at feeding
  • Use a shear grab carefully so as not to upset the pit face too much.
  • If air enters the pit face the silage heats up and feeding value is lost.
  • High dry matter silage has to be fed daily to keep the feed fresh in front of animals.
  • Roll back the plastic cover a little at a time and keep the cover tight around the pit.
  • Do not feed heated, stale or mouldy silage to any stock.

High Ammonia Nitrogen Silage

  • Ammonia Nitrogen levels greater than 10%, can be problematic.
  • High ammonia silages tend to be less palatable and reduce animal intake.
  • Feed it daily, on a little and often basis and provide a source of long fibre to help cudding.
  • Molasses application is an option with unpalatable and low intake silage.
  • With high ammonia silage dungs tend to be loser and milk urea levels tend to be higher.

Acidic Low pH Silage

  • Some acidic silages are also present.
  • Acidic silage will be less than 3.8 pH.
  • Such silage is unpalatable and will reduce animal intake and performance.
  • Feed it daily, on a little and often basis and provide a source of long fibre to help cudding.
  • If animals are throwing up cuds, supplement with a buffer, spread on top of the silage.

Always remove stale silage before feeding new silage.

First Published 18 December 2018

Tagged with: Dairy


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