Silages a view from the field

I will keep my thoughts this month short and sweet and with no mention of motorbikes or any other random musings……

Averages paint a very black and white picture. Unfortunately rarely is life that simple and so it would appear that this year is looking trickier than the averages suggest. There will be some fundamental pressure put on cows for anyone out grazing day and night now and over the last month, and to a certain degree even those out days. Grazing is poor in general and so most herds will have lost 2 litres on average meaning fresh and peak cows are probably 5 litres off already. Not a great start. On the whole early first cuts look pretty good, although there are some very high lactic and also some butyric ones out there where intake is an issue. Buffering these both nutritionally and artificially will be key to a successful winter.

2nd cuts look quite average in the clamp. We encouraged a lot of you to go early and many of you did do 6-week 2nd cuts. However, particularly on lighter ground 30 days needed to be the early mark and not many achieved this, hence a lot of high NDF average ME 2nd cuts. On the whole, though the 3rd cuts that I have seen so far look very good, but some late 3rds or 4ths that haven’t been done yet, will have a lot of rotted material in the bottom, so will hopefully be needed more for young stock than milkers!

Getting cows to milk this winter is probably going to be harder than we all thought, but not impossible by any means. However, a little pressure on supply is probably a good thing for all involved in the industry.