A new web-based information source for farmers looking to switch to making multi-cut grass silage – as a way of improving nutritional quality by cutting earlier and more often – has been launched by leading animal nutrition and forage preservation company, Volac.
The resource takes the form of additional ‘multi-cut hints and tips’ over and above those suggested for making conventional silage on the company’s Cut to Clamp website. The website was launched last year to help farmers get more from silage by focusing on best practice in key areas of silage production and feeding.
In addition to this, you can also download an interactive e-book full of hints, tips and advice to guide you through each of the 6 stages of a multi-cut, grass silage making process.
With the drive to maximise milk and meat production from forage, the multi-cut approach is becoming an increasingly popular way of making better silage,” explains Volac product manager, Jackie Bradley. “When you look at its potential benefits, it is easy to understand why.
Not only does younger-cut grass provide the potential for a higher metabolisable energy content – because it is more digestible since it contains more leaf material and less stem – but its protein content is also likely to be higher, and frequent cutting can also deliver a better total grass yield over the season.
"That said, certain adjustments are often needed when switching from making conventional silage – apart from simply cutting earlier and more often. For example, the lighter cuts will lose moisture more rapidly, so it is important to pay attention to wilting times and not over-wilt.
“Similarly, the chop length with multi-cut may need to be longer to make up for its lower fibre content, and it can need even more help with fermentation compared with a later-cut crop.
Cut to Clamp aims to provide a blueprint for better silage. The new multi-cut sections of the Cut to Clamp website include handy hints and tips for six key stages – of cutting, wilting, harvesting, treating, clamping and feeding,” Mrs Bradley adds.