Quality silage boosts milk production

Quality 12 ME silage is like having concentrates in the clamp – so rations need to cut concentrate levels accordingly if you want to boost milk from forage production this winter. Independent nutritionist, Pete Kelly, says that maximising forage intakes should be easier with quality silage because cows will naturally eat more.

“Most 12 ME silages will be over 30% dry matter and therefore palatable,” he explains. “However, to let cows express their potential and eat 16 kgDM of forage, they need more access time and space. This means, for instance, reducing standing times in the collecting yard, as well as supplying enough trough space.”

He believes that top herds can easily achieve 4,500 litres from forage, but points out the capacity for production from forage will depend on herd genetics. Cow breed and size play a role, as does milk butterfat and protein content.