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Crop Farming & Harvest

Discover the benefits of using a cover crop

Discover the benefits of using a cover crop

The importance of upholding soil health and sustaining its productivity for the future is essential. No matter what the enterprise, we are reliant on soil for all production, either to produce our crops or forage to feed livestock. Rising input costs have led to a greater emphasis being placed on the importance of fertile soils with good structure. A single crop can deplete soils of up to 5% of soil organic matter each year which can have a detrimental effect on soil health in the long term if organic matter is not replenished. Therefore, it is vital that measures are taken to conserve soil, which some may say is our most valuable resource. There are numerous ways

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Introducing the latest updates for Spring Seeds 2022

Introducing Spring Seeds 2022

I’d like to start with a resounding thank you to all our customers for their support and collaboration in 2021. It was another challenging year for all sectors and without focusing too much on the negative, it’s important to reflect on what has set the scene for 2022.

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Why is maize an attractive forage option for 2022?

Why is maize an attractive forage option for 2022?

Inclusion of maize in the dairy ration has long been favoured by many dairy farmers and with the current costs of other crops and inputs, 2022 represents an even better opportunity for maize.

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Everything you need to know about maize silage clamp

Everything you need to know about maize silage clamp

Before getting started with clamping maize, clean out old silage. If you had a problem with mouldy silage the previous year, be particularly thorough with clamp hygiene.

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What is aerobic spoilage and how can we minimise it?

What is aerobic spoilage and how can we minimise it?

On exposure to air silage can begin to break down resulting in heating and high DM losses. This process is known as aerobic spoilage. Aerobic spoilage is initiated mainly by yeasts which can grow using a variety of different substances particularly residual sugars and lactic acid. After the initial yeast activity, moulds join in. They are able to grow on a wider range of substances so spoilage accelerates. Such silages will also have reduced palatability.

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How to choose the right additive to prevent maize silage losses

How to choose the right silage additive for maize

Maize silage can be prone to losses from poor fermentation. These losses are invisible and can run at about 8% for maize harvested at the recommended dry matter content. However in some cases they may be higher – e.g. with some suggestion that DM losses can be as high as 20- 30% between the field (pre-harvest) and what finally ends up in the rumen.

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How to determine the % of dry matter in your maize crop

A Guide to Maize Harvest

Harvesting maize at the wrong whole-plant DM can result in reduced silage quality. Don’t leave maize to die off before harvesting it, as many farmers do. We recommend harvesting according to the correct dry matter – for example, when the whole plant is at around 30-33% DM. However, don’t leave it to get too dry as this makes it more difficult to consolidate in the clamp.

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Should I use an additive for my maize?

Should I Use an Additive for My Maize

When your maize is ensiled at the recommended DM of 32 to 35% there is still enough sugar present for fermentation to achieve a stable low pH.

Maize has a low buffering capacity so the pH falls fast, often to a pH as low as 3.5. Natural fermentation can often result in much higher proportions of acetic acid and ethanol, an indication of a less efficient fermentation which could b

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