By George Shaw,
MPharm MPSNI, Technical Adviser
FARMGATE prices have been buoyant for all livestock sectors recently and all will be wishing for it to continue for the foreseeable future.
Despite these welcomed upward trends seen for milk, beef and lamb prices, major input costs like fertiliser and concentrates have also risen significantly too. Therefore the same, if not more, attention will be cast on production costs to maximise margins when both output and input prices are higher.
We have come through a relatively wet winter and spring has been dry but unseasonably cold with frequent overnight frosts checking grass growth considerably. Thank-fully in the past week most areas have got good levels of rainfall and temperatures are getting to somewhere near month averages. This should hopefully provide a much needed injection in grass growth to see some reasonable bulk for first cuts.
We are all too familiar with the fact that no two growing seasons are the same but a constant is the amount of forage that can be grown each year; it really just depends when that growth and tonnage comes in through the season.
Farms should then be looking to capitalise on every cut of grass to produce the best quality and value forage for their farm. With every tonne of silage important, farms should be looking to minimise dry matter (DM) losses from forage at ensiling.
Research has shown that dry matter losses are costing UK farmers on average £25 per tonne of DM. Simple changes can be made in silage making practices, like ensuring a rapid wilt to a target of 30 per cent DM as quickly as possible, to make sure grass is dry enough for the clamp or bale while avoiding losses of essential nutrients. Also using a silage additive like Advance+ will drive a faster fermentation once ensiled thus reducing DM losses during this process to improve protein and sugar levels and intake potential.
Advance+ consistently improves sil-age quality when forage analyses are taken. Based on data from a bank of 200+ samples from 2018, Advance+ had the following benefits:
n Reduction of 3.5 per cent DM losses, ie, extra 35 tonne DM in 1,000 tonne clamp;
n Extra 0.52MJ/kg of Metabolisable Energy (ME), which can provide extra 1.5 litres of milk from forage;
n Extra 46 per cent sugar content as Advance+ bugs are more efficient during fermentation.
Are you thinking to yourself now that you want to reduce DM losses during ensiling? And you want more nutrients in your silage? Then you need to be using a silage additive like Advance+ on every cut and forage type.
Provita Advance+ provides such dependable results because of the unique EU-approved triple strain combination. All strains of bacteria in Advance+ are registered with the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which requires extensive dossiers covering quality, safety and efficacy.
Being a multi strain product increases the reliability over a wider range of conditions also, which is very useful for the unpredictable UK conditions can throw up. Applied at the recommended rate, Advance+ is guaranteed to supply 1.2 million bacteria per gram of forage. This high level of inoculant means sufficient numbers of bacteria are present to kick start and accelerate the fermentation process to lock in that goodness in the silage as demonstrated above.
There is a lot of research to show that for green crops in the UK a minimum of one million bacteria per gram of forage needs to be applied, as additives containing less will not be cost effective and will not control the preservation you require.
Using Advance+ will improve face stability and prevent heating because of the inclusion of acetic acid forming bacteria in the mixture, although it is more of an insurance policy to help some inaccuracies in the ensiling process.
Silages treated with Advance+ consistently shows more true protein, more energy and higher digestibility, resulting in improved animal performance. So by not using a silage additive is not saving money, it is costing money because the losses are greater and animals will underperform and require more concentrates to make up the difference.
Plan now to maximise your 2021 forage quality with Provita’s Advance+.
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