Your Silage Clamp ~ do you really know what is in it?

Leaving the feeding of your milking cows and other classes of stock to chance, will only lead to disaster.…. so what can you do to inform your nutritional decisions?

It goes back to the “measure, monitor, manage” mantra that should be at the heart of every farming business - without it how can you make an informed management decision?

Regular analysis (ideally monthly), of your silage or other forage crops allows for a more accurate formulation of the diet. Thus, ensuring nutrients are not undersupplied or wasted, due to clamp variations, both of which can be costly due to production losses or feed wastage. Even when silage is clamped to the highest standards, changes occur during storage throughout the winter-feeding period, whether we are looking at grass silage, maize or even wholecrop - and that is before we even consider the variations in different fields or cutting dates.

Taking a Silage Sample for Analysis

can be done in a number of different ways, but should always be a minimum of 6-weeks after ensiling:

Core Samples:

using a silage corer take samples from several places in the silo, covering the area of expected use for that month (or testing period) - seal the holes well with tape, to keep spoilage to a minimum.

Silo Face or Block Cut Samples:

provide a good representation of the silage being fed at that time of sampling. Take samples from across the pit at various heights, selecting fresh silage from behind the face/cut area.

In both of the above, take a minimum of 8 samples, mixing them together in a clean plastic bucket before filling the sample bag for sending off to the lab for testing. Remember to read any instructions thoroughly to get accurate results, such as expelling as much air as possible from the sample bag and posting as quickly as possible.

For analysing Big Bale Silage: sample multiple layers of at least 3 bales.

Matching your animal’s requirements with nutrient supply is key to maximising production. We offer a full range of Kingshay analysis services and sampling tools.

Soil Sampling Tool
£158.50 ex VAT£190.20 inc VAT
Silage Corer
£51.50 ex VAT£61.80 inc VAT

Silage Analysis
£54.00 ex VAT£64.80 inc VAT

1st November 2023

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