Understanding the nuance of silage

Understanding the nuance of silage

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Local Land Services is hosting a four-part series of webinars in August to help producers decide whether to make silage and how to do it, including storage in underground pits. Photo: Futurity Shorthorns

Local Land Services is hosting a four-part series of webinars in August to help producers decide whether to make silage and how to do it, including storage in underground pits. Photo: Futurity Shorthorns

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Silage secrets unearthed: farmer interest prompts webinar series

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With recent rain across a wide part of NSW, some farmers have the unusual problem of having too much feed for their relatively few livestock, so silage may be the answer.

"Previous generations commonly used silage and now it's becoming popular again," said Dubbo-based Local Land Services livestock officer, Sue Street.

"In recent times, we have seen many farmers helped through drought by digging up or opening silage that was stored or buried decades ago.

"Many producers who de-stocked during drought now have excess forage, and in some cases cereal crops that could be turned into silage for future use on-farm or as a saleable product."

Local Land Services is hosting a four-part series of webinars in August to help producers decide whether to make silage and how to do it, including storage in underground pits.

Many producers who de-stocked during drought, now have excess forage, and in some cases, cereal crops which could be turned into silage for future use on-farm or as a saleable product - Sue Street, LLS livestock officer, Dubbo

The free webinars are open to livestock producers across NSW and the information provided will be applicable in all Local Land Services regions.

John Piltz - Silage can be cut earlier in spring and provides more flexibility and higher quality than hay if done correctly. Photo: LLS

John Piltz - Silage can be cut earlier in spring and provides more flexibility and higher quality than hay if done correctly. Photo: LLS

Wagga Wagga-based NSW Department of Primary Industries livestock research officer, John Piltz, who co-authored the 'Successful Silage' manual will be the guest speaker on the webinars.

He explained that silage is a form of conserving forage that involves natural fermentation.

"Silage can be cut earlier in spring and provides more flexibility and higher quality than hay if done correctly," Mr Piltz said.

"Silage will generally keep indefinitely while it remains sealed and anaerobic or oxygen-free, so it is really important to pack the forage to remove and keep out air," he said.

The webinars will cover forage quality and how it impacts silage quality and livestock production as well as mowing, wilting, harvesting, storage and feeding out of silage.

Participants will receive practical, step-by-step advice in an accessible, online environment via the four webinars which will be run weekly on Tuesdays from August 4.

People must register separately for each of the webinars via the Local Land Services website by searching 'Silage webinars' or going to www.lls.nsw.gov.au/silage-webinars

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