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It's time to feed some silage

September 2, 2008
Silage spread on the paddock

We're quickly running out of good, long grass for the milking cows to eat but there's probably still three weeks to go until the grass growth picks up to sustainable levels. So that means it's time to start supplementing the cows' diet with other feed.

We have about two weeks supply of silage in the sheds so that should get us almost through to the grass-growing season. Today we started speading one to two bails of silage on the grass in order to slow down the pasture rotation a little without sacrificing milk production. Actually this year's silage is a little drier than normal - more like "haylage".

There are still a few bails of hay in the sheds too but it's better to feed that to the cows that haven't calved yet since hay tends to convert into lower milk yields than grass or silage, probably because it doesn't contain as many vitamins and nutrients.

Normally the farm would holder greater reserves of hay and silage over the winter but there was a mini-drought last year meaning that the traditional summer excess of grass didn't eventuate - so less of it could be used to make haybails and silage. We're hoping that this year's weather will treat the farm better than last year so that we have an abundance of grass over spring and summer!

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Fertiliser truck driving up a grassy hill
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