For farmers trying to get more from forage, the multi-cut grass silage system might be an option where silage is cut earlier and more often, with around 4-6 cuts per season cutting every 28-30 days.
Although it may not suit all producers, for those that can exploit the system it can raise their profits. The extra harvesting costs will be outweighed by the additional milk produced.
Low quality forages require high energy and or protein purchased feeds to make up for shortfalls, which generally are more costly.
The graph illustrates the energy level of purchased feed needed to balance a base forage diet over a range of energy values.
By improving the feed quality of the base forages used in the diet will minimise the need for high specification purchased feed. Multi - cut systems are one option available to achieve high quality forage for the base diet.
- Higher energy value
- Higher forage intakes
- More milk from forage
- Smaller cuts easier to manage
- Lower yield per cut- easier to wilt
- Quicker regrowth
- Less weather dependent
- Re-seeding policy in place
- Additional contractor and harvesting costs
- High capacity equipment required for quick turnaround
- Multi clamps may be required
- High fibre forages may need to be added to the diet.
The success of the multi-cut system starts by ensuring that leys are in the best possible condition, which for many will be more frequent reseeding, or overseeding than is currently practised. By keeping leys in better condition they will yield more dry matter per acre and will utilise fertiliser more efficiently.
Varietal choice is very important to match the system to the growth habit of the grasses.
- Mixtures contain intermediate and late heading varieties from the recommended list that provide plenty of early season growth and maintain quality and yield throughout the season.
- Mix of diploid and tetraploid varieties provides good ground cover, persistency, high D value and yield.
- Ideal for frequent early season cutting avoiding stemmy later season growth.
- High silage performance, which is dense and persistent.
- High yielding mix for up to 4 years high production.
- 35% high DNDF varieties to improve digestibility
For further information on multi-cut, please contact your local ForFarmers Account Manager or call us on: 0330 678 1200