Multi-cut... multiple benefits

With the drive to maximise milk (and meat) from forage by making better quality silage, the multi-cut approach - of cutting grass while younger and taking more cuts per season - is becoming increasingly popular.

And for good reason.

Consider the potential benefits:

  • Younger grass offers higher metabolisable energy (ME) - because it's more digestible (since it contains more leaf material and less stem)
  • Protein content is likely to be higher
  • There's potential for higher silage intakes - because silage that's more digestible won't spend as long in the rumen, so cows can eat more of it
  • Frequent cutting can actually give a better total grass yield over the season
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But the benefits don't end there. There can be whole load of other 'hidden' advantages.

For example, how's about faster turnaround when making silage - thanks to younger, lighter cuts being easier to manage and faster to wilt?

Or, easier consolidation in the clamp - from grass being less stemmy?

Or even, reduced silage variability in the clamp - from younger grass being at a more uniform growth stage when it's cut, compared with later cutting?

That said, there are some tweaks that are needed when making multi-cut grass silage (apart from simply cutting earlier and more often).

Which is why we've developed these additional multi-cut hints and tips for each of the six steps of Cut to Clamp. Click on the steps below to find out more.