Following a challenging grass silage making season, dairy and beef farmers are being urged to
consider crimping any cereal crops to help plug the energy gaps.
Bryan Buckley, regional business manager for Ireland at Lallemand Animal Nutrition, explains that because of the late silage season,
many farmers have made high bulk but lower quality silage which could be lacking in energy come feed-out.
“Trouw Nutrition GB recently published their analysis of first cuts showing the average ME this year was 11.71 MJ/kgDM,
with reports of a significant number of crops with ME levels closer to 10 MJ/kgDM.
“Many dairy and beef farmers rely on first cut grass silage to supply the majority of the energy in their diets and
without it this year they will have to turn to purchased feeds. Concentrate prices
are still extremely high, meaning it makes sense to use home grown feed wherever possible,” he says.
“Crimp is the perfect option to help make up this shortfall, as it easily reaches 12 MJ/kgDM
compared to 11.1 MJ/kgDM in wholecrop,” explains Mr Buckley.
However, Lientjie Colahan, technical sales support at Lallemand Animal Nutrition, adds that to achieve and
store this high energy feed, paying attention to detail when ensiling crimp will be paramount.
“Crimp is much higher risk when it comes to spoilage in the clamp, being prone to fungal issues and
the development of mycotoxins. This is because it can be a challenging crop to compact and it
provides a lot of readily available nutrients for the spoilage microbes.
“Using a crop specific, bacterial inoculant is really important to help reduce waste
in the clamp and ensure that this valuable feed source stores well until you need to feed it.
“Magniva Platinum Crimp is specifically designed for use in the preservation of moist grains.
It’s a biological option that contains antifungal bacteria which produce powerful compounds
that inhibit spoilage micro-organisms. This ensures faster preservation, while helping
prevent heating and spoilage at feedout,” she says.
“It’s a cost-effective and environmentally friendly option, compared to other treatments,
and it’s very rumen safe. When used with the correct storage conditions it can reduce wastage to almost zero.”
Further to using an inoculant Mrs Colahan recommends harvesting the crop at 25% - 40% moisture,
which is usually two to three weeks earlier than you would conventionally combine it.
“Make sure to sheet up the clamp properly with a ground sheet, side sheets and top sheet that’s properly weighed down.
Also pay attention to vermin control throughout the season as rats are particularly drawn to the feed.
“By following all of these steps it’s straight-forward to produce a high energy feed which will
help make up any shortfall and save money on purchased feed costs come winter,” she concludes.