GROWING or contract growing your own fodder may present a better long term solution for many livestock producers in managing feed inventory and costs, according to Lallemand Animal Nutrition's, Jordan Minniecon.
The company's Toowoomba-based technical services manager, Mr Minniecon, said that the current drought is a compelling reminder for livestock producers to continually focus on their longer term feeding strategies.
"A lot of extensive livestock producers think that feeding silage is purely in the domain of feedlots or large dairies with their own cropping programs," he said.
"Nothing could be further from the truth. Silage made from irrigated or dryland crops forms the backbone of hundreds of feeding systems in dairy, beef and sheep enterprises throughout Australia.
"Livestock producers are using baled silage through to large bulk silage systems.
"It really comes down to developing a silage system that meets the needs of each situation from drought reserves through to high level production.
"Some are using silage in their weaning programs to make sure heifers and mature breeders achieve critical mating weights and body condition scores.
"For others, silage is part of an intensive production systems for milk and meat and as reserves to sustain production or maintain their precious genetic base during bad years to limit de-stocking.
"Many beef producers are also increasingly using silage in their back-grounding or finishing programs to make sure their steers achieve market specifications and leave the property on time."
Although the majority of silage produced nowadays is consumed within 12 to 18 months, silage can be stored for 10, 20 or even 30 years and managed as a long term drought management strategy.
Lallemand Animal Nutrition has been involved in the Australian livestock industry since the early 1990s and continues to provide an integrated silage production service, including inoculants, sealing systems and management advice.
Five technical consultants based in regional Australia cover all states and work with hundreds of dairy, beef and sheep producers growing crops for silage production every year.
- Visit: www.lallemand.com