• Jonathan Watt

Spring heralds first cut silage for dairy farmers!

I love the Spring, it's as if Mother nature is rewarding us for making it through another tiresome, dark and drab Winter by providing new beginnings in the beautiful countryside of East & West Sussex.

I have the pleasure of creating content for several Agricultural enterprises and as such I am very grateful for the access to many gorgeous rural settings to accommodate the creation of still and moving images.

May has heralded the start of Silage2K19 for dairy farmers across Sussex (and the rest of the British Isles) so I have been able to get out and capture a few visual elements of the hard work and long hours put in by the nations farmers.

Forage Harvester unloading into a tractor and trailer.
With well over half a million £'s worth of machinery in view in this image. Modern farming is not a cheap enterprise.

So what is Silage and why is it especially important to Dairy Framers?

Silage is made by packing immature plants in an airtight storage pit (clamp) and allowing fermentation to develop acetic and lactic acids, which preserve the moist feed. The initial moisture concentration of the forage should be between 50 and 70 percent, depending on the type of silage. Ensiled forage can be stored for a longer period of time with lower loss of nutrients than dry hay. The nutritive value of silage depends on the type of forage ensiled and how successfully it has been cured. Grasses, Maize, Wholecrop Barley and Rye are the most common variants of crops used in making silage within the UK.

Claas 970 Forage Harvester
The Claas Jaguar 970, Powerful, reliable & fast.

This whole process gives the farmer a highly effective, nutritious and digestible option for feed for ruminant animals that need to be housed through Winter with the elements non-supportive to outdoor feeding on pasture.

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