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SweetSilage

Balanced nutrition is the key to high quality silage.

Home-grown grass is the lowest cost feed on livestock farms.

From a nutrient perspective, we need to consider the balance between quantity and quality of grass silage.

Silage requires large amounts of nitrogen (N) and potassium (K) to drive growth but what else do these nutrients need to fulfil their role in balanced nutrition?

QUANTITY
What nutrients are needed to optimise dry matter (DM) yield per hectare?

QUALITY
What nutrients are needed to optimise the feed value of silage for animal health and performance?

Nitrogen needs Sulphur to optimise grass growth and quality:


NITROGEN (N)

  • Key driver of growth and DM yield.
  • Key in protein formation.
  • Required in large amounts for silage (80 – 100kg/ha).

SULPHUR (S)

  • Increases the uptake and use efficiency of N.
  • Sulphur and Nitrogen work in synergy to optimise DM yield.
  • Sulphur and Nitrogen work in synergy to optimise protein content.
  • Optimum silage quality requires N & S in a ratio of 12:1 or less.

Livestock need Potassium and Sodium to be in balance

POTASSIUM (K)

  • Key driver of growth and DM yield.
  • Essential for aiding nutrient uptake, plant health photosynthesis.
  • Required in large amounts for silage (90 – 140kg/ha), but…
  • …excess K can reduce magnesium absorption from the rumen and affect palatability.


SODIUM (Na)

  • Sodium can significantly improve silage quality.
  • Increases sugar content which helps optimise silage fermentation.
  • Improves digestibility and palatability.
  • Maintaining a balance between K and Na in silage offsets the impact of high K levels and improves the K:Mg ratio.
  • Aim for a K:Na ratio of < 10:1.

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