July in Northern Ireland was dominated by hot, dry weather, in fact the all time temperature record was smashed by over a degree! It has broken now but not before a lot of cereal crop was gathered and second/third cut silage put in the clamp. Quantity was generally good and the quality will be interesting to see as a lot of first cuts were lighter due to the late start to spring. Milking cows especially will need more than just first cut to make it through until next year. Even though there are some very high dry matters, they will of course be kept cool by using Bonsilage!
On the biogas side, DE-SULPHO-RED gained another two new users this month. Feedback from both is that hydrogen sulphide levels are steadily coming down meaning less expense on the final clean-up before t he gas goes into the CHP. The fact that DE-SULPHO-RED red is the lowest cost ferric on the market that we know of is an added bonus! Recent rain means that spring cereals and maize are looking really good. Grass is starting to green up, the all important third/fourth grass cuts are off to a good start.
Although, mid-summer, farmers here are planning for winter and with concentrate cost increasing and showing no signs of stabilising, quality forage has become even more important. With the ability to keep silage and TMR cool and to produce propylene glycol in the silage, Bonsilage Fit is proving important in the battle to produce quality forage which the will cows preferentially eat. Cool TMR and the health benefits of propylene glycol means that less concentrate is needed to produce the same milk and meat, helping to keep the bottom line in the black.
Well what a different silage season to last year. My diary tells me Spring 2020 we had 10 weeks of continued sunny weather compared to 3 weeks this year ! Forage stocks are looking good to date with a couple of cuts yet to come. Some of the silage analysis results seen is very average.
Most first cuts now being fed. Grass silage by far is the main stay for dairy cows in Wales. With average rainfall between 65ins -70ins i think that will always be the case. Milk price has edged up a bit last couple months. On farm milk vending machines becoming extremely popular but just wondering how many outlets can the market take. With 95p/ litre for pasteurised milk its easy to see why.
Fertiliser & feed costs on the up again as predicted. Milk from forage yields has dropped considerably last few years. It was approximately 4200 litres but has dropped to around 3900 litres. Grass & forage is by far the cheapest feed & foundation for producing milk.
After an unsettled May and a wet June, farmers welcomed the spell of good weather during the first half of July resulting in some very heavy second cuts of grass silage coming off the fields and into the clamp. For those that did get slurry and fertiliser back onto silage ground, recent rains will have helped kick-start grass growth again. Although mostly planted in good time, maize was slow to get established in many areas, but the sunshine and hot weather in early July combined with moist earth has accelerated growth and crops are looking very well. Lets hope for more sunshine and showers to keep it moving over the remainder of the summer!
Bonsilage Fit has proved a popular choice for dairy farmers looking to maximise silage stability for high energy forages when opened, with the added benefit of Propylene Glycol produced during fermentation which will reduce BHB counts when fed. For me, it's all about the forage intakes and palatability of Bonsilage Fit treated silages is exceptional!
Looking forward to monitoring growth and getting maize crops off the field at maximum digestibility, at the optimum dry matter, and with as much starch as possible. Just remember not to chase starch over digestibility, it a great "whole crop silage" when harvested at the right maturity.
Contacts: David Porter - 07766 722505, Gareth Jones 07927 288866, Sean Quinn 07714 213466