9 June 1995

Wye backs fermenting

FERMENTED whole-crop wheat compliments grass silage-based dairy cow rations better than urea-treated whole-crop wheat. That is the finding of trials at Wye College, Ashford, Kent.

Early lactation cows were fed 7kg a day of 22% crude protein concentrate. Grass silage was fed as the sole forage (control) or a third of the forage was either fermented whole-crop; 2% urea-treated whole-crop, or 4% urea-treated whole-crop.

Cows offered the fermented whole-crop/grass silage forage showed similar dry matter intakes, milk yield and quality when compared with cows fed grass silage alone. The 2% and 4% urea-treated whole-crop fed cows showed slightly depressed milk yield of -0.9kg/day for the 2% urea-treated and -0.6kg/day for the 4% urea-treated compared with the 30kg a day yield achieved on the grass silage ration. Milk protein content fell (-0.06% and -0.03%, respectively) and daily liveweight gain increased (+0.04kg and +0.09kg).

* (Dr Julian Hill and Professor David Leaver, 1993)


Typical Analysis Guide

FermentedAlkali-treatedGrassMaize

DM %40-4550-602330

ME (MJ/kg DM)9.5-119.5-1110-11.511.5-12

FME (MJ/kg DM)7.5-108-107.5-109-11

CP % DM8-1015-2012-189-10

pH4-4.583.7-43.5-4.5

Starch % DM20-3020-30025-35

Ammonia N % total N<1020-301-152.5