5 May 1995

Dont let lodging clobber quality

AS soon as a grass crop lodges it will start to rot, says Padraig OKiely, head of the animal nutrition department at Grange research centre, Co Meath, Eire.

"Go in with the mower immediately for digestibility drops by 2% to 3% a week once the crop is on the ground," he urges.

"High nitrogen levels are applied to push up yields in an attempt to improve the economics of silaging. In some cases the plan backfires. Crops may yield 20t of fresh matter a hectare, but the dry matter content is very low," he explains.