Getting Winter Ready: managing silage quality and quantity


This week's Getting Winter Ready is an important one and it's never too late to assess your silage quality.

Getting Winter Ready: managing silage quality and quantity

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  • 1 year ago

This week's Getting Winter Ready is an important one and it's never too late to assess your silage quality.

While the perfect time for assessing fodder requirements maybe past, farming is anything but perfect and it is never too late to estimate what fodder is needed rather than take a chance and hope that you are able to let out stock when it runs out.

To work out the requirements, we are going to look at each different type of animal one by one that could be found on a typical Irish beef farm.

For a suckler cow

No of cows x No of months x Tonnes per month = Total Required

Example,

20 cows x 3 months (Turnout 1st April) x 1.4 tonnes = 84 tonnes of silage required.

For Weanlings

No of weanlings x No of months x Tonnes per month = Total Required

Example,

25 weanlings x 3 months (Turnout 1st April) x 0.7 tonnes= 52.5 tonnes of silage required.

No of animals x No of months x Tonnes per month = Total Required

Example,

10 cattle x 3 months (Turnout 1st April) x 1.3 tonnes = 39 tonnes of silage required.

So after all that calculation to see how much more your stock are going to eat,

We need to see how much is left in the silage pit or in the bales or both for consumption.

For the silage pit you need to measure the length, height, and width, in metres, then do the following calculation:

Length(m) x height(m) x width(m)

1.4 = Amount left in tonnes

For baled silage the following calculation will work out the tonnes of silage available to you:

No. of bales x 600kg ( or 700kg for well packed bales) = amount left in tonnes

In the case that the above calculations show a shortfall in silage on the farm, then a number of options can be considered:

1.Buy silage in.

2.Feed more meal to lessen fodder requirements.

3.Sell stock. Take the opportunity to sell problems cows or under preforming drystock.

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