Tips for successful silage-making this spring

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  • 17/09/2018

Spring has sprung itself upon New Zealand and its farmers, which means it's none other than silage season.

But it's not always an easy season, which is why Pioneer Brand's Darren O'Shea joined RadioLIVE's Rural Exchange at the weekend to share some ways farmers can improve their pasture.

Mr O'Shea says pasture is a "fickle" crop, and there are many factors to keep in mind throughout the spring.

Farmers should ensure they have a good dry-matter percentage (aiming for 30-35 percent), minimal soil contamination and keeping it compact.

Mr O'Shea also suggests using an inoculant additive, which can be added to any form of forage silage making.

"What it will do is benefit the fermentation process of that silage by adding lactic acid bacteria... to make it more efficient," Mr O'Shea told RadioLIVE.

Inoculants can see great returns for the farmer as well, with fewer losses to fermentation and higher protein levels to give you more milk.

"For every dollar you invest in that product, you get about $4 in return."

If farmers are planting maize, Mr O'Shea stresses there is no rule that fits every case.

"As a rule of thumb, you plant to the conditions. If there are good, dry conditions and you can cultivate the ground easily and efficiently - you get in there and you get it done."

Seeds are a regular feature on Rural Exchange thanks to the experts at Pioneer Brand Products. If you have any questions or want to find out more, call 0800 PIONEER or visit their website.

Watch the full interview with Darren O'Shea above.

Rural Exchange with Hamish McKay, Sarah Perriam and Richard Loe, 5-7am Saturday and Sunday on RadioLIVE with Carter's Tyre Service. Click here for all the ways to watch and listen.