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Farmers are being encouraged to test grass before cutting it to determine the best time for quality silage production.

Farmers are being encouraged to test grass before cutting it to determine the best time for quality silage production.

Incremental improvements in silage quality make a considerable difference to feeding efficiency and production margins. But some farmers are missing out on the opportunity to make the best silage possible.

Lientjie Colahan of Lallemand Animal Nutrition (pictured), believes this is often due to overlooking the planning part of the process, with producers often timing silage by calendar date rather than grass quality.

“Pre-cut grass testing helps determine when the crop is at the optimal point for cutting to achieve quality forage with the best nutritional value,” says Ms Colahan.

“One of the most important things to observe in pre-cut testing results is the neutral detergent fibre (NDF) content. This is the main gauge of plant maturity, giving the best indication of when grass is ready to cut.”