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Decent silage despite dire weather

Good silage production and livestock performance despite adverse weather conditions

11 20 180126 David Larmour

Fields flooded, crops swept away, bridges down and roads ruined.

Despite exceptionally adverse weather conditions in the North West last summer, shown in headlines such as the above, good silage was still made on the Killen family farm near Newbuildings, Co Londonderry.

With a pleasing analysis of  30 DM, ME 11.5, Protein 13.5 and pH4, silage made in 2017  proved equally impressive when it came to livestock performance.

Despite being ensilaged during the worst summer weather in a generation, far worse than in other arts and parts of Ulster, last year's silage is feeding well,” affirmed Stuart Killen.

 Intake and yield from our dairy cows have improved and in the beef unit DLWG has again been heartening.

Progressive farming at Killen family farm

Stuart and his brothers Geoffrey, Richard and Graeme farm with their father Ronnie as R Killen and Sons in the fertile Foyle Valley a few miles up stream from Derry City.  Aside from their growing dairy, beef and sheep enterprises the family has one of the most sophisticated and progressive farm contracting businesses in the province.

11 11 180126 David Larmour

But why had the silage proved far better than feared in a season that saw whole fields flooded as rivers burst their banks?

Using a proven silage additive

According to Stuart having good equipment and a truly professional harvesting team ready to seize the moment during lulls in the weather was of course a factor.

 But equally important we always use Ecosyl, the proven silage additive from Volac to stabilise the crop in the clamp.  As contractors we had noticed how customers using Ecosyl consistently made better silage than those still using other products. With the encouragement of Basil Bailey from Thompsons we have used Ecosyl for several years with great results. However in 2017 it really was a key player in keeping livestock performance up.

Now farming upwards of a 1000 acres the Killen family settled in the area 50 years ago and  are know over a wide area for their contracting business. Using the blue tractor power of their New Holland fleet plus Claas self propelled harvesters Ronnie and sons offer a range of services including  tanker and umbilical slurry spreading, ploughing, sowing and all three forms of silage making; clamp, big bale and maize.

A long way in technology since Ronnie starting working to the country 30 years ago with a Mengele 25 trailed harvester!

Selecting Ecosyl as the silage additive of choice

As the business expanded so did the range of skills and equipment provided by R Killen and Sons, who have also steadily expanded their own farm operations. All family members are involved in contracting along with the dairy, beef and sheep operations at home.

“When it comes to  farming at home or working to the country having reliable equipment is vital and the same applies to selecting an additive,” added Stuart Killen.

11 9 180126 David Larmour

We were already impressed with the job done by Ecosyl, but 2017 was a total nightmare as regards endless rain and flooding. That Ecosyl still did the the job and delivered silage that kept up livestock performance is remarkable.
Proof that when it comes to buying livestock genetics, machinery or an additive it pays to go for the product proven to work in all local conditions. For us Ecosyl is the additive to give palatable silage with minimal waste and as contractors we know attention to detail in mixing and applying Ecosyl yields huge dividends all winter.

Numerous independent  trials have shown that, on average, Ecosyl treatment results in 1.2 litres extra per dairy cow per day or a 15.2% improvement in beef daily live weight gain.

Want to find out more about the Ecosyl range of silage additives? Find out more here. Alternatively, if you are ready to start using Ecosyl head on over to our order form!