Livestock producers must invest wisely in aftercut nutrition to balance disappointing sugar and protein levels in first cut silage this year.
The mild winter followed by a dry spring meant those that cut early have fared better, but sugar and crude protein levels are low across the UK.
“Nutrition strategy for second cut must now focus on a ‘precision’ fertiliser approach to lift yields and quality,” says independent grassland specialist Dr George Fisher
“True granular compounds, where every granule contains balanced quantities of N, P and K are much more efficient than blends, for example.
“Work at North Wyke in Devon has shown a 10% lift in grass production in second and third cut silages when using these compared to a blend of the same formulation.
“This has been replicated in on-farm trials with 15% lifts and more, consistently achieved with compounds over blends.”
The Sulphur contained in a true granular compound is essential for yield and quality, says CF Fertiliser grassland specialist Hefin Llwyd.
“With CF Sulphur compounds such as Heartland Sulphur (24-8-8 +8SO3), KayNitro Sulphur (25-0-13 +7SO3) or Multicut Sulphur (23-4-13 +7SO3), the Sulphur is locked into each granule so distribution is even.
“Research has shown such compounds can easily add 2% to crude protein levels and help make up for the shortfall seen in recent years.”