Silage season has started for some farmers in Cornwall. Here are the findings of John Williams, Regional Sales Manager at Micron after his recent visit to Cornwall to deliver urgently needed Advance Grass silage inoculant.
"Yesterday I had a great excuse to get out in the car and see the countryside on my way down to Cornwall to deliver some urgently needed Advance Grass.
What I noticed on my journey was that grass growth is way behind where it was this time last year. I would say about 3 weeks behind.
Having delivered the Advance (whilst following strict social distancing rules) I took the opportunity to inspect the cut grass and from the field gateway it all look good, ready to be rowed and picked up Monday morning.
I also wanted to check the cutting height which would influence drying times and regrowth.
As you can see, nice an green underneath which will recover quickly and allow the farmer to take another cut in 4 – 5 weeks. This also indicates very good d value which will provide good protein and energy values. dNDF will also be very good. But then I looked closer!
I could clearly see that there was slurry residue left over from application some 5 weeks ago using a dripple bar. With the recent dry weather we have had there has not been enough rain to soak this into the soil (soil health could also be considered as worm activity has also been low). This crop is therefore likely to be heavily contaminated with Bacillus, Clostridium, Escherichia and all sorts of other wonderful bacterium/fungi. The application of Advance would still result in a good fermentation but remember that the slurry on the mown grass will end up in the clamp and not in the ground where it should be, presenting considerable risk of an unstable clamp face at opening."
Rain would have avoided this problem, but we all know it is often impossible it is to get the right type of rain at the right time!
"Another consideration would be the use of MicroZyme R on the stored slurry. This would have broken up the fibre structure allowing it to be washed off the plant easier.
In this case the farmer was informed of my findings (again at a distance!) and instructed to harvest these contaminated fields first so that the crop can be ensiled at the bottom of the clamp where consolidation will be greatest and lactic acid generation from above will soak down. Lower levels of the clamp (high sugar,<30% DM>) tend to have decreased pH. Hopefully this should control any mould growth later.
Again, it all comes back to the importance of grassland/harvest management first and foremost. The application of Advance thereafter makes it great silage. "
Whilst lockdown continues, Micron Bio-Systems continues to support our customers and the farmers as best we can, going the extra mile to get product delivered where and when it is urgently needed (thanks to John this time, and our production team who make Advance in Somerset, UK).
To find out more about Advance silage inoculant or MicroZyme R slurry improver try the product pages here on the website or contact us.