An increasing number of silage baler contractors are now putting on silage inoculant applicators, due to increased demand from farmers. Read more
The question is often asked as to whether silage inoculants are needed when the weather is good, or is it just when the weather is poor? Provita Advance+ is like the icing on top of the cake, silage will be even higher in sugars and nutritional quality in good weather conditions. Read more
Gavin Blair and his family run a 400 ewe flock and 80 suckler and beef herd near Moneymore. The flock consists of mule ewes put to Suffolk and Texel rams. Lambing takes place from February to April. Read more
Damon Brown runs 60 commercial ewes and a small pedigree flock under the Loughbeg Suffolks name. Read more
At this time of year farmers are bombarded with information on silage inoculants. With so much variation between years and cuts, it’s very difficult to compare silage inoculants or even treated verses untreated crops. Many products claim to be better than the next one, so how can they actually be compared?
It is advisable to check the bacterial strains are EU approved. The EU registration system has standard parameters to measure efficacy such as dry matter losses, pH, lactic acid and ammonia plus stability for wholecrop and maize silages. Parameter testing shows efficacy on easy, moderate and difficult to ensile crops. Some of the inoculants, in particular the ones that only apply 100,000 bacteria per g of grass, failed to show a benefit in moderate and difficult to ensile crops.
Ryan McMullan runs 60 Holstein cows in Carnlough, Co Antrim. They are currently yielding 8000L on 46kg silage mixed 50:50 1st and 2nd cut plus 5kg in wagon and rest of meal topped in parlour to yield. A few years ago he decided that he needed to improve silage quality in order to improve herd performance.
The first aim was to cut silage earlier; however with heavy land this can be difficult. The silage ground gets 4000 gallon per acre, this year it was put on with his umbilical slurry system, which has been invaluable. Next only 60 units of N is applied for the first cut in early April, this means silage can be cut from early May, second cut get 2 bags per acre of 27.4.4 plus sulphur and it was cut third week of June, third cut was delayed until September . Again mowing and ensiling is done by Ryan’s machines. It is mowed with a mower-spreader, gets a 24 hour wilt weather permitting, rowed up and then ensiled with a trailed harvester, aiming for a DM of 28% to 32%. Read more
ProVitaMin contains a range of chelated minerals, vitamins and 25 trace elements at optimal levels in an ultra-concentrated liquid drench form. It can be used as an early lamb drench giving them an important nutritional boost to support growth and development, energy metabolism and better absorption of nutrients.
Colin Mc Eldowney, from Slaughtneil uses ProVitaMin on his 300 Lanark Blackfaces. In order to maximise the output achieved from this flock, he uses ProVitaMin on all his ewes to give them a boost in minerals and vitamins at critical times of the year. He also drenches all his lambs post weaning to enhance growth rates
“I drench all the lambs with ProVitaMin prior to weaning. This ensures that growth rates are not reduced, once they are taken off their mothers” Read more
Lambing is due to start on the farm on the 17th March. The crossbreed sheep are inside and get 1kg of meal plus good quality silage. This level of feeding will continue for twins after lambing starts but will stop for singles at this point. Read more