MAY 2011 Newsletter

This months linked article's:


Following an exceptionally dry winter in real terms, which has continued into Spring, it is certainly having an impact, in several ways, on farmers decisions as to when and how they approach 1st cut silage this year. It is also worth noting that April 2011 was officially the warmest since records began in 1659!

There is no doubt that grass as a whole has come under increased stress in recent weeks, such that on some of the lighter, sandy based soils, the crop was visibly `going backwards` before the end of April. Another interesting fact is the difference in apparent yield between last Autumn`s reseeds and permanent grass, the former generally yielding the better at present.

By the 5th May in Cheshire it looks like around 20% of the crop has or is in the process of been harvested, and not surprisingly yields generally are modest, but of exceptionally high quality. It does however make sense to remove the crop earlier given present conditions, as rain will surely come, (?), to produce a larger 2nd cut in due course. If silage is delayed now, yes there will be a bit more bulk, but with the crop being under stress is likely to head slightly earlier than usual reducing its feed value, and 2nd cut yield is likely to be reduced. Another point to note, is that with rainfall having been so low of late, there is still a quantity of residual nitrogen in the ground, (it certainly has not been leached!), so this with an additional `top up` of N will boost regrowths.

On a practical note, many farmers and contractors have experienced an unusual `problem`, let's call it `sticky grass`! Basically where silage has been cut, and wilted for any degree of time, and sugars been high to start with, this has further concentrated the sugars. The resultant material when chopped has been blocking many foragers due to its dryness and stickiness, causing undue delays to harvesting, with some farmers resorting to picking up either very early morning, or through the night when there is some atmospheric moisture. What to do you ask? Logic suggests that if conditions remain similar, and with standing crops between 22 to 25% DM, harvest within hours of cutting, don`t field spread, just get it in as quickly as possible. You should still finish up with a DM approaching the high 20`s to 30%. Too high a DM may lead to compaction difficulties within the clamp, which may later result in a Mycotoxin challenge.

One accepts that within a few days conditions may change, so an accurate assessment needs to be made regarding wilting periods required, or not, and as always to get the best from your silage use ECOSYL 100 additive. Such use isn't about `insurance` in poor conditions, it`s about retaining maximum nutrients and hence maximising performance from what for many is the mainstay of next winters feed.

If you have any doubts or questions why not ask GP Feeds for an up to date assessment.


If you haven't already booked your silage additive yet - give the office a call to discuss ECOSYL...

Our sales of Ecosyl have increased tenfold over the last 2 years - surely those customers who choose to use it can't be wrong. We would like you to join our increasing list of very happy and satisfied customers.


If your silage is looking wet or may be contaminated you may want to consider:


One of the best known and respected of all acid silage preservatives, Add-F, is now available in a non-corrosive formula from us, called Add-F NC (for non-corrosive). Originally developed by BP forty years ago, Kemira Chemicals have now taken over production and have made it far safer by using their proven gaseous ammoniation buffering process to remove the adverse effects that the old Add-F had on machinery and skin.

Add - F NC is ideal for: All silages that are low in sugar and/or have a high nitrate level and/or wet and contaminated grass.

Add-F NC is 80% formic acid, known for many years as the most effective and rapid silage preservative. Formic acid treatment is often used as the benchmark when research scientists test the effectiveness of silage additives because of its known reliability and predictability. Unfortunately handling and corrosion problems have made it increasingly unpopular for farm use. Kemira has a good name for developing effective farmer and environmentally friendly products so we expect the new formulation to regain its former popularity. Now available in 205 and 1000 litre containers. We can usually deliver within 48 hours.


They said it would never work, but Clampfilm IS now the accepted way to STOP top and shoulder waste...


The weather in recent weeks has been considerably warm for this time of year and with very little rain fall for the past month or so, many of you are taking full advantage of the weather out in the field, all we need now is some rain to get help out the crops! Whilst you are waiting for that much needed rain why not have a look through our summer range of compounds - we have a product to suit all need. All our products have our fixed formulation, no substitution and either flexible monthly or fixed pricing guarantee - who else can offer you this!

Rich Dairy Range

An excellent cost effective range starting with Rich Dairy 16% nuts. Excellent source of digestible fibre, good rumen protein supply.

Ingredients: Wheatfeed, Wheat, Palm Kernal, Sunflower, Molasses, Soya Hulls, Rapemeal, Sugarbeet, Minerals & Vitamins and Fat Blend.


Select Range

A highly cost effective range, which has sold very well through last winter.

Ingredients: Wheat, Rapemeal, Barley, Wheatfeed, Palm Kernal, Soya Hulls, Citrus, Molasses, Sunflower, Minerals & Vitamins and Fat Blend.


Enhance HDF Range

Well balanced range with good protein, energy and quality fibre characteristics.

Ingredients: Rapemeal, Wheatfeed, Palm Kernal, Soya Hulls, Wheat, Barley, Molasses, Biscuitmeal, Hipro Soya, Minerals & Vitamins and Fat Blend.


Supreme HDF Range

HE Supreme HDF 16 nuts is our most popular spring / summer ration, it accounts for over 40% of our spring / summer sales year on year. This is a high quality nut, made of high quality raw materials. This ration will help to maximise your milk production whilst maintaining butterfat levels at a time when the grass will naturally decrease them.

Ingredients: Wheat, Maize, US Maize Distillers, Hipro Soya, Palm Kernal, Sunflower, Rapemeal, Sugarbeet, Citrus, Molasses, Megalac, Minerals & Vitamins and Fat Blend.


Excel Range

Excel 16 nuts is the Rolls Royce of our spring / summer range. With Sugarbeet, Wheat and Hipro Soya making up 47.5% of the total feed. Excel 16 has been especially formulated for spring calvers producing more than 40 litres. The emphasis is on lower protein and a range of quality energy sources. This ration will help to maximise your milk production whilst maintaining butterfat levels at a time when the grass will naturally decrease them.

Ingredients: Wheat, Maize, US Maize Distillers, Palm Kernal, Hipro Soya, Biscuitmeal, Sugarbeet, Citrus, Soya Hulls, Megalac, Sopralin, Molasses, Minerals & Vitamins and Fat Blend.


All the above rations are available in 16%, 18% & 20% proteins.
Discuss the perfect ration for your cows please contact the office on 01948 661602.


Minerals and vitamins are essential elements of all forms of animal and vegetable life. A shortage of any one, or both, of these elements will retard critical development of all plants such as germination, maximum growth, disease resistance, nutritional value etc. The same applies to all forms of human life with the likes of rickets, scurvy, infection, anaemia, osteoporosis etc. All due to deficiencies, as with plants, animals play an important role in the human food chain all of which require essential minerals and vitamins, especially intensively reared stock, which rely entirely on the food and supplements we feed them.

In a recent survey by Frank Wright Trouw Nutrition, the averages of the 2010 forage results, in the main, show decreases in mineral content which has been a continuing trend over the past few years. It is vitally important to utilise your own individual data, in the total ration being offered, so that the balance of the daily mineral requirements are met. In this way mineral and vitamin deficiencies and excesses can be avoided and farm profitability maximised.

When comparing 2010 results to the last 3 years average the following is highlighted:

  • Phosphorus - down 5% in grass silage and 15% in maize silage
  • Cobalt - over 20% lower
  • Selenium - remains steady at 0.05 mg/kg DM but 0.3 mg/kg DM is required daily
  • Copper - lower by 3% in grass silage and 20% in maize silage

In this small example it can be seen that trends are lower in both grass and maize silage meaning that the crop coming in from the field is deficient. We feel that this downward trend will continue as fertiliser prices continue to rise and less is applied on the fields. Your own slurry and FYM make a valuable contribution to the mineral and vitamin levels within the structure, and it makes good sense to ask your agronomist or fertiliser supplier to carefully monitor applications of both bagged fertiliser and your own product to ensure correct levels are being economically applied.

Although minerals are considered a small part of a total diet they are in fact vitally important - get the balance wrong and you could be in big trouble. If, for example, you lose a cow with grass staggers it will cost you a lot of money not only the value of the beast but the value of the lactation also. It may have been avoided by the correct application of magnesium.

On a lot of farms we visit it has been noticed that minerals supplied by some suppliers just DO NOT deliver the correct amount of mineral required by the modern dairy cow. We have products that have been designed to fulfil these needs but above all you need to determine what is required on YOUR FARM and have a BESPOKE mineral made up for your individual situation. The dry period is the most crucial time for ensuring that the cow and unborn calf have the daily required intake of vitamins and minerals. This will affect greatly the subsequent lactation and will determine the type and quality of it.

If you would like us to quote on your existing mineral or you wish a customised one to be priced up please give us a ring and we will be pleased to offer you advice.




Gareth or Rachel (Office)
01948 661602 Fax 01948 871776