Know what you need … before you use what you have!

Know what you need … before you use what you have!

Slurry & Fertiliser Planning

With feed and fertiliser prices hitting record highs, the value that silage and slurry hold on farms has never been higher.

If soil tests haven’t already been carried out to identify the soil requirements for N/P/K, they should be done as soon as possible. These soil sample results will define the best way to utilise the slurry and farmyard manures so chemical fertiliser can be used as economically as possible.

Early consideration must be given to forage plans for the year. With the slurry season about to open, planning is needed to use it appropriately to maximise the return.

An early walk of the grass platform to establish current covers will allow you to assess covers, plan where to start the grazing rotation, identify pasture for reseeding and secure that seed early.

Assess the performance of silages this year and decide if changes need to be made for the coming year. Approaching this evaluation early will assist with fertiliser budgeting for the year ahead while also making best use of slurry and farmyard manure.

Measure existing silage stocks

  • Multiply length X breadth X height to establish the volume of silage in the pit
  • Multiply the volume by density from the table below
  • Estimate what tonnage you require for the coming year and the land base needed to produce it

Grass Silage Dry Matter (DM) %

Fresh Weight kg/Cubic M

20

725

25

665

30

615

35

545

40

485


Is there a place for multi-cut grass silage in your system?

Multi-cut grass silage is growing in popularity, and there are many nutritional merits to this format.

In this system the grass is cut earlier – before heading – and while this reduces the tonnage of each cut, it increases the crude protein, digestibility and metabolisable energy (ME).

The aims of the multi-cut system are to:

  • Maximise feed quality from the acreage
  • Produce more milk from the higher quality forage
  • Increased forage dry matter intakes
  • Provide a greater window for harvesting and working around weather conditions with an earlier start and later finish than traditional methods
  • Flexibility in forage planning, e.g., specific clamp for dry cow feeding


Plan for alternative forages for the year?

It is always worth considering alternative forages.

Wholecrop cereal and maize can bring flexibility into the feed system as they are high starch forages and will help reduce bought-in feeds. With no specialist feeding machinery required, alternative forages can be an easy addition to your farm system for post calving feeding or buffer feeding when needed.

Early planning of alternative forages is essential to:

  • Choose an appropriate site
  • Utilise slurry and farmyard manure early and as soon as land is fit to work
  • Select and secure the right grass seed for your situation to guarantee the availability of the best varieties

Specialist Nutrition | Moist Feed and Forage Specialists

Call 051 833071 or WhatsApp Amy on +353 87 408 1002