Which end of the spectrum are your 2021 forages?

Which end of the spectrum are your 2021 forages?

The grass silage season of 2021 was one of extremes, the result of which is now being seen in silage sample analyses

It is vital to analyse forage when formulating diets

While there was a dry start to early May, temperatures remained cool and grass growth slow, which had many wary of taking advantage of the dry weather window. Those who did will see the benefits as early results show those grass silages to be high quality. However, as we got further into May, a deepening area of low pressure swept across the country, bringing with it wet and windy weather, which saw the majority of silage harvesters parked when they should have been at their peak.

When harvesting finally did get properly underway, grass quality was poor, fibre levels were high, sugars were low, while protein had suffered. Farmyards are generally full of lower-than-normal quality silage, and because they were cut late and yielded very high tonnage, there is a lot of it.

Know what you don't know:

2021's two extremes of very high-quality silage and very low-quality silage bring with them their challenges when balancing diets. This is why Specialist Nutrition considers analysing the on-farm forages a priority throughout the year.

We look at these results closely when formulating diets considering the parameters that may affect the rumen's performance, whether for beef or dairy enterprises. Particularly in the dairy sector, balancing the dry cow diets properly with the on-farm forages is key to a successful calving and subsequent lactation.

As pits and bales are fed throughout the winter it is important to re-analyse when changing from one cut or batch of bales to maintain the balance in the diet.

Feeding for success – where do you start?

The precursor to all lactations is calving, and a well-managed dry cow period is key to a healthy calving, good early lactation, and better performance come breeding time. In addition, balancing the diet and selecting the right pre-calver minerals will support the immune system through the transition period.

The supplementation of high-value vitamins, vitamin D3 and E, together with an ideal combination of protected and unprotected trace minerals, will significantly improve immunity status and fertility and provide minerals in an easily absorbable form to meet the dry cow's requirements and the unborn calf.

Our Specialist Nutrition pre-calver minerals are specially formulated to support the cow against the challenges she faces during transition and combat metabolic diseases, improve gut integrity, and increase longevity from improved survival rate to next lactation.

Contact Specialist Nutrition for expert nutritional advice and to arrange a silage analysis of this years forage.

Specialist Nutrition | Moist Feed and Forage Specialists
Call 051 833071

  • SN Protected Precalver

    Our SN Protected Precalver is specially formulated to help meet all the needs around calving and early lactation.

    The supplementation of high-value vitamins, in particular Vitamin D3 and E, together with an ideal combination of protected and unprotected trace minerals, will significantly improve immunity status, fertility and calf growth.

    • High levels of Magnesium and Vitamin D3 to help calcium mobilisation at calving and to help prevent milk fever
    • High levels of Vitamin E (8000IU/kg) is supported with the inclusion of AO Mix: a blend of natural polyphenols, with proven antioxidant activity
    • Contains protected Selenium, which, along with high Vitamin E, boosts cow and calf immunity and helps reduce the incidences of retained cleanings

    Feed Rate: 125-150 g/head/day

  • SN Dry Cow Special

    SN Dry Cow Special is the very best precalver on the market with an exceptional formulation.

    Combining the best formulation of vitamins with protected trace elements, Dry Cow Special supports the high yielding dairy cow in the dry period. It provides the best preparation for the start of a new lactation.

    Dry Cow Special is especially suitable for producers who use potassium-rich fodder (DCAD -640 meq / 1000 gr DM), to prevent hypocalcaemia.

    • High vitamin (A, D3, E & B) and mineral content with protected minerals to increase milk yield and fertility
    • Contains inactivated yeast combined with B Vitamins to support liver function, rumen protection and gut health
    • Limits milk fever response and metabolic diseases

    Feed Rate: 100-200g/head/day