Fodder Stock & Requirements

The recent poor weather has resulted in the depletion of silage stocks and the likelihood that quality will below normal. At this stage it is wise to assess how much silage is available and how much is required. The pit should be accurately measured taking into account the slopes at the rear and sides of the pit and an average height calculated. This figure should be divided by 45 for dry well compacted silage and 50 for wetter less compacted silage. The result will be in tonnes fresh weight.
For requirements, cows will require between 6 tonnes and 7 tonnes depending on expected length of winter, In-calf heifers 6-6.5 tonnes and weanlings 3-3.5 tonnes. If there is an anticipated deficit, various actions can be taken such as:

  • extending the grazing season
  • growing a fodder crop
  • using straw as part of the dry cow diet
  • selling stock earlier etc.

In terms of quality it is recommended that the pit is sampled and analysed in order to accurately target supplementation. Given very high protein prices, major savings could be achieved through this exercise. We offer a sampling and measuring service completing the above calculations on your behalf.

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