Silage Advice

With multi-cut, how quickly does the crop need to be wilted & clamped?

You need to be cutting, spreading, wilting and clamping it within a day. If it’s a good day, you’ll easily get 28-32 dry matter.

FARM7952Grass should be cut in the morning with a mower conditioner and tedded out within 2 hours to allow quick wilting.

This is the time frame the stomata are open, so tedding needs to be quick to maximise the moisture loss from stomata.

Grass should be rolled up just before the forager.

The ideal DM would be somewhere about 32%. The quicker you can reach this the better, so monitor in the field.

The Dutch are advocating a much higher DM (into the 40% DM range), but with the UK having different clamps and wetter, humid weather, this is a mistake as it significantly increases field losses and feed-our losses.

The wilting period should ideally be 24 hours, with an absolute maximum of 36 hours. Any longer than 36 hours, and you can lose more than 4% units of digestibility (0.7 MJ/kg DM ME) in the field.

However, with the lower yield/cut from the multi-cut, the wilting time will be quicker so a double benefit for energy content (higher energy at mowing and lower energy losses due to the shorter wilt time).