Forage has suddenly become sexy again

Maybe that’s taking it a little too far, but it certainly is taking up a lot of column inches at the moment. With pressure on prices, it comes as no surprise that making more of what you produce yourself has become a favourite topic.

I think that most of you are well aware by now of the benefits of having better forage and let’s face it, no one goes out with the intention of making poor silages or not getting the most out of their grazing ground.

So why is it that production figures from forage have stagnated over the last 10 years? I believe a big part of the reason is planning. When our animals aren’t performing in the winter or we look at a poor analysis result, we tend to procrastinate, using the phrase “I must do something about that” but, like all busy people, when the time comes there are always other priorities.

The key advice here seems to be having someone who is interested enough in your farm to guide you in the right direction, but not to nag you so much that you hide when they come up the farm drive.

The truth of the matter is that forage can be very expensive. We very often hear that it is the cheapest form of feed, but that is only the case when we grow enough of it to dilute the costs of growing it. The thing that all producers who are getting higher outputs from forage have in common is that they have higher cost.They spend more on fertiliser,more on reseeding and more on additive/ensiling. Trying to increase production from forage when it is in the clamp or bale is a little late in the day.

The focus on maximising home grown feed has always been an integral part to our message. 3 years ago we decided to take this further by creating a dedicated forage business offering a tailored service for your farm, with 4 key specialists covering the South West.

If you would like one of our specialists to come to help you build a plan and then implement it then please ring 01363 772212.

Matt Rance
Forage & Nutrition Specialist
07809 306571
Follow me on twitter: @morefromforage