Help is at hand for the Fodder Crisis!!!

They say that information is power and never has this been more true than today. As the winter season is upon us, forage stocks are critically low and of much lower quality than in previous years. There is a lot of talk about the shortage of fodder and many farmers are panicking into selling cattle and buying very expensive bad quality silage. We at John O’Connell, Crecora Mills would like to help you become informed so you can make the correct decisions for you and your business.

Every farmer is asking them selves the critical question: “What is the right thing to do for forage over the winter?

We can help you answer that question if you can go through the following help sheet.

The first step is to calculate the amount of Fodder on the farm.

Baled Silage.

Baled Silage usually averages out at 1 bale is 700kg to 800kg equivalent of pit silage.

Obviously if a lot of the bales are soft and contain a lot of water you can count them as 700kg. Good standing, firm and well preserved bales are 800kg.

Pit Silage.

Measure the Pit. The length, multiplied by the Width multiplied by the average height will give you the square footage.

Divide this by 50 to get tons of silage in the pit.

Add the baled silage and the pit silage together and we know what we have on farm currently.

So now we know how much Silage we have on farm. You can use the following convenient table to work out how much fodder you will need over the winter.

Animal Type No of Stock Winter Months Tonnes needed per month Total needed for winter
Dairy Cows  1.6
Suckler Cows  1.4
In Calf Heifers  1.3
Weanlings  0.7
Store Cattle  1.3
No of stock multiplied by No of winter months Multiplied by Tonnes needed Equals tons needed for winter

Using the total Silage on farm that we worked out and the total needed we can see if there is a shortfall of fodder and then we can work out how much is needed to make up the difference.

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