Research carried out by Schothorst Feed Research has shown that the milk of cattle that are fed silage with a dry matter content of 30 to 35 percent is as least as good as that of cattle that are fed dry silage. In this research the Schothorst institute compared silage with a dry matter content of less than 35 percent with dry silage containing more than 50 percent dry matter.
The institute was surprised by this result because drier silage contains a higher percentage of rumen degradable protein (RDP), whereas moister silage contains more rumen undegradable (fermentable) protein.
So the results of the research show that cattle also benefit from the rumen undegradable protein. Moist silage implies a greater loss of protein in the rumen (milk urea, released along with urine), whereas dry silage implies a greater loss of protein in the intestines (released along with manure). “On balance the nitrogen efficiency is the same. The same amounts of protein taken up from moist or dry silage are converted into milk protein,” concluded the Schothorst institute.
VisscherHolland: aim for silage with a dry matter content of 30 – 35%
“For many years we have been advising farmers to ensilage grass at a dry matter content of 30 to 35 percent,” says product manager Harrald Helmers of VisscherHolland. “Practical experience has shown that moist, well-preserved silage with a dry matter content of at most 35 percent results in the best milk. This has now been scientifically confirmed by the results of the research carried out by the Schothorst institute.”
“The best fodder is obtained if the grass is ensilaged within 36 hours after being cut,” says Helmers. It will often be virtually or totally unnecessary to shake the grass. However, it is a good idea to add silage enzymes. Research carried out by Schothorst has shown that VisscherHolland’s ADVANCE® silage enzymes have a beneficial effect even under ideal conditions, by minimising deterioration during storage.