For this season so far, Trouw has received around 600 first cut silages. Approx. 10% of these were poorly fermented which is shown by the high pH and very low lactic acid. Though, most of the silages are of good quality and in terms of analysis, similar to last years.
Over the winter, grass growth has been slightly lower but of a similar pattern of 2019. Grass has continued to grow over the winter and a sharp rise in growth was seen sooner than when we saw in 2019. Through the start of the season, NDF in pre-cut grass remained low and the average was below 40% DM.
Weather and cutting dates will have an influence on the range of analyses. In February, the UK had the highest rainfall on record with many areas flooding. This was followed by periods of drought and in May, the hottest temperatures on record. Cuts depending on fertiliser application and plant uptake, along with getting contractors to mow may influence further silage cuts.
Early 1st Cuts
A reflection of the warm weather is the high dry matter at 35.5%, similar to last season’s early 1st cut which averaged at 34% DM. ME is good at 11.4 MJ/kg DM.
With NDF at 44% DM, silages are looking to be good quality. However, with the continued growth throughout the winter, lignin is high. This compared to 2018 season, where forages were scarce, lignin was low which lead to highly fermentable forages.
Dynamic energy is high at 6.3 MJ/kg DM and care should be taken with these 1st cuts as low fibre index, due to low NDF levels and coupled with high acid load (nearing the max of 50), means that rumen health could be compromised if rations are formulated appropriately. Reflected in pre-cut samples and the disrupted season seen so far (fertiliser applications, prolonged dry spells) the average protein for 2020 is 14.6% DM, lower that last year’s early season 1st cut of 15.4%.
Source: Trouw Nutrition GB.
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