2017-02-22 

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Don’t be Tempted to Feed Spoiled Silage to Youngstock

It’s easy to be tempted to feed top layer spoiled silage to youngstock, however feeding inferior feed is not cost effective and can lead to a host of health issues and have a long-term effect on future productivity.

“Youngstock are your future herd; boast the best genetics within the business, and offer your business the potential to improve future profitability,” Jennifer Hitchman, Silostop Technical Manager. “This is why it’s so important to ensure you invest in their nutrition for maximum growth and health.”

Using an oxygen barrier film on your silage gives farmers the opportunity to use the latest technology to inhibit the further ingress of oxygen

Using an oxygen barrier film on your silage gives farmers the opportunity to use the latest technology to inhibit the further ingress of oxygen

“Particularly when milk prices are low, it’s important to resist the temptation to give the heifers poorly preserved silage, especially spoiled material.

“Intake of poorly preserved silage can be too low to achieve growth targets without the additional cost of supplementary concentrate feed,” she adds. “In addition, possible contamination of the silage with mycotoxins or E. coli endotoxins, with consequential adverse effects on fertility and immunity from infections, may result in heifers not conceiving and suffering from chronic infectious diseases.”

“This can result in the animal being culled or performing much lower than her genetic potential. The cost implications are huge. And, can go on for the lifetime of the animal,” Jennifer stresses.

“The most effective way to prevent feeding this spoiled silage, is to avoid producing it. Clamp management is key to this. Never underestimate the effectiveness of good sheeting. It is possible to achieve zero visible waste on a clamp by using an oxygen barrier film.”

This advancement in ensiling technology now gives farmers the opportunity to use a product that is drawn down on top of the silage and inhibits the further ingress of oxygen. Other sheeting options cannot match the flexibility of these films, hence air pockets will always remain as ‘hotspots’ for mould growth.

“The benefits of investing in the best ensilaging products are numerous and the return will not only be reflected in the improved nutritional content of the silage, but also the health and future production of your youngstock,” she concludes.

Silostop

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