Delayed grass growth prompts silage quality worry

The delayed start to grass growth in the spring meant grass was closer to heading than first thought, and as a result farmers are being encouraged to test their silages before making winter-feed decisions this year.


KW nutritionist Mark Scott says the three-week delay to spring grass growth would have only delayed cutting by 7-10days, yet most first cuts were taken at least a fortnight later than normal.


“Swards may have looked great in the field, but the grass will have been closer to heading than many realised, even if those heads weren’t visible at the time of cutting.


“So although analysis is showing some good first cuts were made, in many cases it’s not the 72-74 D value, 11.4-11.6MJ ME/kg DM material that sward appearances might have suggested,” he adds.


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