11th JULY 2019 - Page 15



NEWS
FARM WEEK
NOVEMBER 09 2017
15
Spotlight on silage in November
W
SALE: Alastair Sampson, representing Volac,
sponsors of Monday evening’s sale, with Geoffrey
Douglas, Chairman, and Joe Stewart, Vice
Chairman, of the Suffolk Sheep Society NI Branch.
Sale of Suffolk
females at
Ballymena Mart
T
HE NI Branch of the Suffolk Sheep Society
will hold its annual show and sale of
Suffolk females on Monday evening
(November 13) at Ballymena Livestock Market.
An outstanding offering of 58 females, including
in-lamb ewes and ewe lambs from some of the
renowned pedigree Suffolk flocks in Northern
Ireland, are set to go under the hammer.
In all six of the Province’s top breeders will be
represented including a major reduction of
the Blackbrae flock (R A S Barkley), Donrho
(P Donnelly), Forkins (A R Gault), Leitrim (D&A
McNeilly), Kinbally (C Patterson), Duffy (L
Shettle).
A total of 44 ewes in-lamb to leading sires
such as the £8,000gns Rhaeadr Rio purchased
Stirling 2016, 5,800gns Burnview Aristotle
purchased Shrewsbury 2017, 5,500gns
Solwaybank Titan, 5,000gns Solwaybank
Sapphire 2 purchased Stirling 2017, 4,000gns
Bannview Massey 1,300gns Birness Touareg
and Forkins Fandago.
The Forkins, Kinbally, Donrho and Duffy flocks
of Alastair Gault, Callum Patterson , Patrick
Donnelly and Laura Shettle are offering for
sale a consignment of 14 ewe lambs. These
lambs have been bred by leading sires including
Forkins Fandago, Rhaeadr Rhonn, Lakeview
Whats Wanted, Smiddiehill Tornado and
Deveronside Pure Diamond.
Judge for Monday evenings sale, kindly
sponsored by Volac, is the Northern Ireland
Branch Chairman Geoffrey Douglas. Judging will
commence at 6pm followed by the sale at 7pm.
Catalogue available at www.suffolksheep.org or
by contacting Orla on 07841117252.
AGM: The Northern Ireland Branch of the Suffolk
Sheep Society will hold its AGM on Tuesday,
November 28, at 8pm in Dungannon RFC. All
members are invited to attend.
ITH the exceptionally wet
summer and autumn, many
farmers have not been able
to cut all their silage ground
and on checking silage stocks,
calculated that they do not have enough
silage to last through to next spring.
If there comes a settled spell and ground
conditions improve, is it possible to make
silage? Or should the grass be carried over
until the spring before either grazing or
ensiling?
Silage preservation is basically the pickling
of grass, through the production of lactic
acid from sugars by lactic acid bacteria. It
is well known that in order to make silage,
sugars have to be three per cent and above
in order to allow sufficient levels of Lactic
Acid production. We also need to ensure
the right bacteria are available in large
enough numbers, in order to dominate the
fermentation process and prevent a butyric or
FORAGE FOCUS
Exploring the world of high
quality forage production
and utilisation with
specialist agricultural
merchant Morton’s
clostridia fermentation which can occur from
soil contamination.
Fresh grass analysis of silage swards at the end
October 2017 shows:
DM 10-17%
WSC 0.3-2.5%
Protein 15-20%
ME 9.5-10.5
As the above figures show, swards are low
Dry Matter, low in WSC (sugars), average in
Protein and low in ME (energy).
This material is far from ideal for a good
fermentation, never mind the possible
contamination by soil, however with a helping
hand through the use of a good inoculant
such as Supersile it should still be possible to
make well fermented silage.
With wet forage it is vital to achieve a fast
and deep fermentation to achieve stability,
and preserve nutrients. Looking at the quality
of November grass this will be difficult to
achieve, without the use of an inoculant
formulated for low DM, low sugar grass, such
as Supersile.
Supersile contains both efficient lactic acid
bacteria and parented enzymes, which open
the bonds in grass fibres and release glucose
molecules, which the bacteria can then use as
additional sugar for acid production.
The addition of specific enzymes will get
the grass over the magic three per cent WSC
value allowing lactic acid bacteria to produce
acid and preserve the silage and nutrients
within it.
Some farmers have suggested making silage
if the ground is frozen to get around poor soil
traffic ability, however lactic acid bacteria
need temperatures above 5C, hence ensiling
frozen grass may result in the fermentation
failing to start.
While November silage will never be record
breaking in terms of quality, it will help to fill
silos and provided it is fermented correctly
will be a useful source of forage in a year such
as this.

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