Following earlier rainfall, warmer temperatures, and generally lower numbers of stock across the region some producers are now considering silage as an option for storing excess feed.
Central West Local Land Services mixed farming advisor Callen Thompson said while excess feed was a good problem to have there were a number of things to keep in mind before trying silage for the first time.
“Particularly if they have sown grazing crops or their cereal crops have started to run up growers are looking at their options to conserve this fodder for future use or create a saleable product to help with cash flow,” Callen said.
“Silage can be a great fodder source used to fill gaps in feed supply,” he said. The growth stage of the crop, what the silage will be used for and how it will be made were all important considerations for producers.
If cut at the right time, silage can retain much of the crops fodder quality, unlike hay which decreases in quality through the hay making process. “At this time of year you need to know if you will be able to dry the cut material quick enough to ensure feed quality, you may need to wait until daytime temperatures start to increase,” Callen said.
The decision on whether to produce bales or chopped silage would also depend on how much would be used at a time and whether it would be used on the farm or sold. Bales can be a better option if you only want to feed out small amounts at a time and wrapped bales can be sold off farm more easily.
For more information on considerations for making silage or to be notified of upcoming silage workshops contact Central West Local Land Services on 1300 795 299.