Some simple steps can greatly increase your silage quality
Silage is a crucial part of the success of any livestock farm, so it can be hugely frustrating when it goes wrong, usually due to that key factor that no farmer has any control over – the weather.
So how come there are farmers out there who invariably succeed in making enough good quality silage to meet requirements while others struggle for a quality cut?
The consistency of the successful farmers suggests that it is not a matter of luck or random chance. Instead, there is a formula that seems to win out in almost every circumstance. What's their secret?
1. Soil and crop
These are the foundations of consistently good silage. Regardless of the soil type you are farming, it must be adequately drained and be able to provide the nutrients required for optimal plant growth.
In particular, phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) should be at soil index 3 and a pH of around 6.3 (for mineral soils).
Similarly, the species of grass that you grow will influence how well the silage preserves. Ryegrasses are currently the best species for preservation.
These foundations come at a price, so you need to be prepared to spend money and also invest time on maintenance.