With the important role of good quality silage in milk production, leading animal nutrition and forage preservation company, Volac, will be offering farmers the opportunity to sign up for a number of free grass silage appraisals at this year’s UK Dairy Day (on stand H221, The International Centre, Telford, Shropshire, Wednesday 13 September).
Available as part of the company’s Cut to Clamp initiative launched earlier this year, which aims to help farmers produce consistently better silage by focusing on best practice methods for making and feeding silage, the appraisals will take the form of on-farm consultations with a silage expert.
They will include an on-farm audit of the six key stages of cutting, wilting, harvesting, treating, clamping and feeding – aimed at identifying practical ways in which silage feed value and keeping quality can be improved.
“We realised there was a clear need for practical ways to improve silage-making after conducting a survey of over 100 dairy farmers before the start of the season,” Volac product manager, Jackie Bradley, explains.
“In the survey, nearly 80% of farmers felt they could make better grass silage, with just 19% saying they felt completely in control of how well their grass silage turned out after sealing the clamp. More significantly, the results also highlighted some significant shortcomings in silage-making techniques.
“Good quality silage plays a crucial role in the sustainability of dairy farm businesses, and these are no-obligation, on-farm consultations. We’re able to offer a limited number at the event, and farmers can come to the stand to check availability throughout the day.”
As well as recommendations for improving grass silage, Volac will also be offering timely tips for making maize silage, as the timing of the event coincides with preparations for forage maize harvest on many farms.
“This again follows further survey results on maize silage-making carried out last season, which also revealed shortcomings,” Mrs Bradley explains.
“Despite 71% of respondents rating preventing aerobic spoilage as their biggest challenge when preserving maize silage, not all respondents were fully utilising all available methods to prevent it,” Mrs Bradley adds.