Minimising soil contamination after wet winter
Having had one of the wettest winters for many years, there’s a high chance that many fields will have had slurry and fertiliser spread in less than ideal conditions, leaving far more ruts in the ground.
It is important to ensure these fields are rolled before silaging commences to prevent soil contamination.
Risks associated with soil contamination of silage
The clostridial bacteria in soil creates a butyric fermentation, with potential losses of around 50% DM, along with reduced intakes and palatability, as opposed to a lactic fermentation with zero DM losses and increased intakes.
So, what can we do to overcome these potential issues?
Roll fields as soon as is practical before the land dries out and there is too much grass growth.
Ensure adequate wilting
If there is still a likelihood of some soil coming in on the silage, it is important to try and wilt the grass to at least 30% DM as drier silages are more ‘forgiving’ in their fermentation. Don’t forget to liaise with your contractor over your timescales and expectations to ensure silage is produced to the best quality possible.
Use of an additive
Apply a quality, proven silage additive such as Ecosyl with high levels of lactic-producing bacteria to help overcome the clostridial bacteria.
Cut to Clamp offers expert advice and practical tips on 6 key stages of silage production; Cutting, Wilting, Harvesting, Treating, Clamping and Feeding, to help farmers understand what they can do on their farm to improve their results.
Explore our website for step-by-step guides outlining good practice in silage production and top tips and video resources from independent silage expert – Dr. David Davies.