Dairygold Agri Business have silage testing available, where either individuals can take their silage samples themselves or a Sampler can be sent out on farm to take samples using a corer for more accurate results. These samples are then analysed in Lombardstown Analytics Services Laboratory and results are sent out to the customer.
This testing is available for grass silage, maize silage, wholecrop silage and brassica crops. Various tests available such as NIR analysis, trace mineral testing and mirco element testing. Special tests available this year to help prevent Milk Fever issues occurring on your farm.
For more information on getting your silage tested this year please contact your local Area Sales Manager, local branch or Agri Graduate Roisin O’Donnell on 0867938408.
How important is it to have good quality silage?
- Grass silage accounts for 20-25% of the total annual feed per cow on well-run dairy farms, and up to 30% of total feed on beef farms depending on the production system
- Good quality silage is very important in the diet of beef cattle, dry cows for weight gain and skeletal growth in young stock
- If we look at the diet of the dairy cows or beef animals throughout the year their diet is measured and tested. All concentrates are tested from the mills, and grass dry matter is available to us as well. This allows us to calibrate their diet and track their performance throughout the year. With this the dry period is very important so knowing the value of you feed is vital
- If we look at the coming weeks, silage will gradually start being added into the cows diet so in terms of production we need to get a silage of 72% DMD plus into the diet to maintain good production levels.
- Poor silage will have a negative effect on milk production and this effect is very hard to reverse at this time of the year. So getting good silage into milk cows in late lactation is crucial.
- If we look at the dry period for cow’s, silage makes up the majority of their diet. At this stage it is important to know what feed quality you are dealing with as there is a place for both poorer silage and good silage in the dry cows diet
- The beauty of knowing the value of your silage from the start is you can BCS your cows, divide them into their groups, the thin cows that are less than 2.75 at drying off need top quality silage, cows that are too fat that have a BCS of 3.25 plus can get the poor quality silage
- Ideally, we want cows calving down at an BSC of between 3-3.5 as anything above this can lead to milk fever and hard calving’s and anything below it research has shown that every 1 BCS below the target will result in a loss of 450 liters of milk during that lactation.
- Silage will make up the majority diet of these animals for the winter and in order to ensure that the feed meets their requirements it is essential to get your silage tested.
It’s very simple if we don’t test what we’re feeding, we don’t know what we’re feeding