Farmers are being urged to do a forage budget for the coming winter to ensure enough feed is available for livestock.
 
Potential shortfalls in winter forage availability following last year’s harsh winter and spring mean it’s even more important to plan now, said FiveF feed specialist Malcolm Graham.

Speaking at the Livestock Event Mr Graham said farmers should consider the feeding value of home-grown crops.

“With cereal prices likely to ease downwards over the coming weeks and bought-in protein costs remaining stubbornly high, it’s well worth capitalising on the potential winter feeding value of your own home-grown wheat, barley and oat crops.”

Mr Graham said with a simple change of mind set, farmers can offset the financial impact of another expensive bought-in protein winter by turning home-grown cereals in to high energy, high protein forages or grain.

“If you have a crop in the ground now you can take as much of it as forage and as much of it as grain as you like. By adding specially formulated high protein pellets at harvest the nutritional value of your home-grown cereal can be transformed. Addition of the pellets release ammonia in to the crop, killing off moulds and bacteria, raising the pH to alkaline range (8-9).”

Mr Graham said the cost of this type of home-grown protein was about 49p/kg, considerably less than bought-in material.

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