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TAS Country : October 14th 2010
Friday, October 15, 2010 Tasmanian Country 15 News 5.99% INTEREST: Farmers check out silage equipment. Picture: KAROLIN MacGREGOR Choose dry days to slash and store FREEMAN KAROLIN MacGREGOR SILAGE season is just around the corner and farmers gathered at the Elliot Dairy Research Station last week to find out how to get the best out of their silage crops this year. Farmers at the field day were told there are a number of factors that can influence the quality of silage. Tasmanian Institute of Agricultural Re- search researcher Mark Freeman told field day participants that cutting silage when pasture was at the correct stage of growth and height was one of the key factors. For ryegrass pastures, Mr Freeman said ideally residuals of about 5-7cm are required after the pasture had been cut. When it comes to achieving high nu- tritional value, Mr Freeman said sugar levels in the grasses are higher in the late afternoon, but wilting is the critical factor for top-quality silage. ''Wilting is the most important consider- ation for us here in Tasmania, with our cooler climate,'' he said. Pastures for silage should not be cut until the dew has dried off them. Once cut, it is essential the grass is left long enough to lose the right amount of water before it is either baled or put into a silage pit. Mr Freeman said ideally pit silage should be reduced to 30-40 per cent dry matter content. For baled silage it should be 40-50 per cent dry matter. He said getting the correct dry matter levels was essential for the right bacteria to flourish in the silage. Leachate, or water loss from silage pits or bales that have been produced while moisture levels are too high, can be tox- ic.Mr Freeman said silage baled at below 30 per cent dry mat- ter was most likely to produce leachate. Once they are cut, the pasture plants respire and convert valuable sugars into water, carbon diox- ide and heat. Mr Freeman said this was why speeding up the wilting process could help improve silage quality by preventing the loss of valuable sugars. He said while paddocks for silage should not be cut in the rain, if it started raining while they were being baled, in most cases it was best just to keep going. Mr Freeman said if the silage windrows did get wet, re-tedding could help to dry them out again. He said that when making pit silage, it was vital to roll the stack regularly to remove as much air as possible. The stacks must then be completely sealed. For baled silage, firmly packed bales are needed to get rid of oxygen from the bales. Mr Freeman said bales should be wrap- ped as soon as they are baled and any holes in the silage wrap should be patched immediately. It is also important to avoid getting contaminants in the silage including soil. After good rainfall during winter, most farmers are hoping for a good silage season this spring, if recent follow-up rains con- tinue. 2071401-101015 Our Service Revolves Around You Shop 7, 33-37 Gordon St Sorell, Tasmania Phone (03) 6265 1112 Led Downlight Kit White or Satin 50000 hrs 9w $48.50 5w $35.00 30cm Oyster Light $12.95 40cm Oyster Light $19.99 Halogen Flood Sensor $29.95 Halogen Flood $19.95 Solar Garden Light Stainless Steel 72cm $39.95 Stainless Exterior $29.95 Kelpies were bred for one reason. To become the perfect working dog. They have the intelligence, ability and endurance to perform any task. We came into being for one reason too. We re an agribusiness bank. That means we provide loans, services and a global network of knowledge for producers like you. This exclusive focus enables us to help your business meet your ambitions and secure your long-term future. That s why we have the most satisfied clients in the industry. Rabobank. One focus. *The obligations of Rabobank Australia Limited ACN 001 621 192 are guaranteed by its ultimate parent, Rabobank, ranked safest non-government owned bank: Global Finance magazine since 1999. Call Australia s safest bank* on 1300 30 30 33 or visit www.rabobank.com.au RAB01010-14917
October 7th 2010
October 21st 2010