• Digestible fibre is needed to slow down the rate of progress through the rumen to take best advantage of the quality grass going in at the other end.
  • Intakes of fresh grass are severely restricted on wet days.
  • Cattle will die if they are short of magnesium
  • Buffer feeding is essential to maintain high yields of milk.
  • There is a desperate need for energy in Spring but of the correct type.
  • Cows will look after themselves and if not fed correctly there will be big drops in production as their bodyweight falls.
  • Milk proteins and butterfats will fall if nutritional aspects of the diet are incorrect.
  • The biggest Holsteins will struggle to eat enough fresh grass to maintain more than 24 – 26 litres during May and June and the rest of the litres need to be sustained by supplementary feeding.
  • Monitor your cows carefully to cover all the points mentioned and be prepared to react to change rapidly.

Your winter production of milk, beef or lamb meat is determined, in the main, by the quality of forage your animals eat. As grass silage makes up a high percentage of the forage intake it makes sense to make the best possible silage you can. Here are a few pointers that may help you:

  • Cut early for high D value equating to high 11 ME values but beware of the high nitrogen content during dry, slow growth period.
  • Try to wilt if possible as dryer silages have a higher PH and lower lactic acid levels.
  • Aim for a longish chop length especially when feeding alongside Maize Silage. Set a target of 15% of the length to be more than 1½ inches long.
  • Fertiliser should be sown as soon as possible after first cut, thus reducing the risk of high nitrogen contamination and it also improves grass yields. Every day’s delay in application equates to 3 cwt (150 kilos) per acre of fresh grass lost.
  • Use an effective additive such as marketed by ECOSYL PRODUCTS, especially on high dry matter silages, as it will improve the feed quality.
  • Check the weather forecast for an accurate 5 day forecast before starting on first cut.

If you would like to know more about how we can enhance your business please don't be shy, give us a ring on 01948 661602 or e-mail us on admin@gpfeeds.co.uk. We can put together a feed plan for your farm that will give you the performance to be proud of.