Now we have hit the silage season it is interesting to see how protein can be added into the seed mixtures and benefit the silage ration to reduce concentrate costs.
Silage cuts are vital towards winter feed with regards to yield as well as quality. By managing the sward efficiently, we can see the benefits in the silage tests done either at cutting or at feed out.
During the silage season, at Grass Science Seeds, we are looking for a consistent crop which keeps the same high quality throughout the sward or clamp. Quality traits such as protein are kept at a high with even consistency throughout the crop. We have created grass mixtures that, if managed correctly, keep giving year on year. We want to see quality and yield throughout therefore mixtures including high protein varieties is imperative.
Legumes are our main source of high protein grass mixtures. Versatility is key when it comes to suiting a specific farm business, so we have worked towards putting the individual farm challenges our priority in getting the forage right.
GSS Progrow is one of our high protein mixtures comprising of lucerne, hybrid ryegrasses and both red and white clovers. A mix such as Progrow is perfect for adding protein into a winter ration so concentrate costs can be reduced. Lucerne is a deep-rooted, drought tolerant legume which is highly beneficial as a ruminant forage. With its high intake potential, lucerne provides 18-20% crude protein.
GSS Solid includes two mixtures containing either red or white clover. These are grown beside perennial ryegrasses both diploid and tetraploid. Developing a mix with both diploid and tetraploid creates a bombproof mixture which has the quality traits as well as resistance and hardiness. Diploids tend to be fine leaved and grow dense with good ground cover whereas tetraploid is a larger leaved plant which grows more open over the ground. When adding the high protein legumes into a mix like this it is crucial to consider the type of perennial which clover would suit best.
GSS Solid with White Clover includes more tetraploid perennials due to the more open ground cover allowing white clover to germinate and creep along the surface of the soil. On the other hand, Solid with Red Clover suits diploids with its dense ground cover and red clovers higher shoot.
Grass Science Seeds has developed long-lasting, high-quality swards which can consistently produce high protein silage. A great example of this is GSS Endurance which contains white clover as its protein source and creates consistent swards of dense and high yielding plants which show major benefits in the cow ration too.