Thrones Tops for Silage
Asked why use a silage additive and why choose Ecosyl 100 dairy farmer David Throne gave a simple answer. “We tried other additives over the years, but none matched Ecosyl for consistently giving us a first class fermentation at reasonable cost.
“Ecosyl does exactly what it says on the pack as regards boosting silage quality, cow intake and milk output.”
The judges of Ulster Farmers Union silage competitions at group and national level certainly agree. Yet again David, who farms with his wife Avril and son Gary, has again won the North Tyrone UFU Group grass silage competition.
Time and again the Throne family has won awards not only for grass silage treated with Ecosyl 100, but for their maize silage made with Ecosyl Ecocorn, which has the added benefit of reducing aerobic spoilage.
Since son Gary graduated and came home the family’s Willofarm Holstein Herd has increased to 130 cows with milk supplied to nearby LacPatrick. Each year about 30 bull calves are reared with ten of the best sold for breeding and the rest cashed as bull beef.
At present some breeding bulls are available, but Willofarm heifers are already sold out.
The Willofarm prefix dates back to upgrading the commercial herd in the 1970s with foundation cows coming from leading herds such as Smiddiehill, Barbican, Hyland and Ballybeeny. Today the herd average is 11,26kgs at 3.76% butterfat and 3.12% fat on a unit where currently a feeder wagon is not used.
From December to July Gary and David milk three times a day then switch back to twice daily milking with calving from September through to May.
Cow families include Roxy from Hanoverhill, Kitty from New Roddige, Iris from Hyland, Dutch Ijsselvlietd bred Roza and the acclaimed Ambrosia family. More recently semen from Vieuxsaule Flame has been used and is making a positive impact as has this move to sexed semen. Others sires favoured include Iota, Numero Uno, Cash Money and Sammy.
Great emphasis is placed on breeding deep bodied functional cows to produce more milk from forage. That forage, be it grass or maize silage, has to be of the highest quality hence the continued use of Ecosyl silage additives from Volac.
Products that prove their worth on the bottom line and delight silage contractors as Ecosyl is applied with a simple to use low volume applicator.
Ecosyl 100 silage additive is unique in containing Lactobacillus plantarum MTD⁄1 which gives rapid and efficient fermentation. On average an extra 30 litres of milk per tonne of silage treated with Ecosyl was produced during 15 independent on farm trials.
Farming the rich pastures of the Foyle Valley between Strabane and Londonderry David and Gary aim to maximise milk output from forage be it grazed or in the pit. As Gary Throne noted, “In the best of times and now in tighter times why risk mediocre silage when Ecosyl gives peace of mind and a first class fermentation.”