Glanbia silage testing and analysis surveys are marginally better than 2014 but show huge variation across the 3,000 samples taken.
The average DMD (dry matter digestibility) for 2015 was 68% versus 66.5% for 2014. The lowest 25% have an average DMD of 62.1% versus the 73.5% average of the highest 25%.
According to Glanbia, the silage tested this year was well-preserved with an average pH level of 4.2 for 2015. Ammonia levels are very similar at 5.5% of total nitrogen for 2014 and 5.4% of total nitrogen for 2015.
Crude fibre levels for 2015 are marginally lower, which is reflected in the higher DMD figure for 2015. The net energy level for 2015 of 0.76 UFL is a little higher than the 2014 figure of 0.75 UFL. The total available carbohydrate figures for 2015 at 51.5% is very similar to 2014 at 52.7%.
Overall, while averages are an indication, the ranges within individual farm results are large and thereby highlight the importance of getting silage analysed.
The samples were taken from more than 2,000 customers of Glanbia Agribusiness.
“Having your silage tested and analysed can be hugely beneficial to ensure optimal animal performance,” GAIN Feeds technical specialist Willie Darmody told the Irish Farmers Journal.
“Under or over-estimating the feeding value of silage without conducting a silage test can cost significant amounts of money to the farmer. A recent Teagasc survey confirms that a typical silage pit has a feed value in the region of €10,000. But if the forage is not analysed, then farmers will either underestimate or overestimate the amount of meal and/or silage required by stock in order to secure optimal animal performance.”