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High Nitrates in Silage

Silage that has had a late application of fertiliser or that was cut during the drought conditions this summer can contain elevated levels of nitrates.  This can have a direct effect on the silage quality, particularly the fermentation resulting in reduced palatability and a drop in intakes. 

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Mineral Supplementation

Forage crops are good high energy and protein feeds; however, minerals (particularly trace elements) are low in forage crops.  Therefore, mineral supplementation is advised where forage crops make up a large proportion of the animal’s ration.  The silage/hay fed alongside forage crops will provide some additional minerals however, forage crops are low in most of the trace elements.

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Autumn And Winter Grazing Considerations

Grazing management must always balance the livestock needs in the present with an eye on the future, this is particularly relevant through the autumn and winter.  We know grazing too long through the winter will impact spring growth.  Therefore, consider how you plan to optimise both the winter needs and spring production now.

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Managing The Transition Onto Forage Crops

It takes around three weeks for rumen bugs to adapt to a change in diet.  If we change diet abruptly, the rumen struggles to cope and digestive upsets occur such as bloat, acidosis and/or loss of performance.  If done badly, you can put the livestock off eating the crop altogether and, in severe cases, farmers have lost livestock due to poor transitioning.

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