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New AfterCut Silage Healthcheck Helps Boost Grassland Production

With many dairy and livestock producers focused on maximising silage stocks this year after 2018’s difficult conditions, CF Fertilisers has launched an online Aftercut Silage Health Check to provide valuable guidelines on how to achieve this.

By answering a series of simple questions about their system and management, producers can receive information and specific recommendations for maximising grass production in their own individual farm situation, says CF’s Mark Garrett.

It’s designed to help grassland producers recognise the important stages in the decision making process and also help point them in the right direction when it comes to fertiliser choice required to help them meet their objectives. More than anything, it’s important producers do not delay applying aftercut fertiliser. The more you delay applying N after your first cut, the more yield you will lose.

Get N on more or less straight away and you’ll be OK, but delay it by one week and you’ll see a yield drop approaching 10% and if this extends to 14 days it will be nearer 25%. Delaying the application of second cut fertiliser will cost you 370kg/ha of fresh grass per day so these are significant losses.

It’s also essential to select the correct fertiliser product for your system with Phosphate and Sulphur being particularly important.  

Use a high quaIity Ammonium Nitrate (AN), like Nitram, based fertiliser to maximise quick N uptake and consider a rate of 2.5kg N/ha/day if you are disappointed with first cut yields. Fertiliser use will need to be balanced against manure application and good quality NPKS, NKS or NS true granular compounds should be used according to soil analyses.

The CF Fertilisers Aftercut Silage Health Check will help with all these decisions and is free to use, enabling somebody to identify where they could make significant improvements in silage production efficiency, whether it’s increasing yield or improving quality.