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Forage conservation: experts are on call

11.07.2019
Заготовка кормов: эксперты ответили на самые острые вопросы аграриев

Krasnokamsk Machinery and Repair Plant and the и Center for Assistance in Development of Dairy and Beef Stock Farming launched the hot line for issues of forage conservation (8 800 500 7917). In this article, experts give answers to the most burning question of farmers.

You can call to the hot line with any question connected with forage conversation.

But most often calls are received from farming entities that apply the in-line haylage making technology. It’s not wonder. As Krasnokamsky RMZ and the Center for assistance in development of dairy and beef stock farming are well-known in the professional environments as main promoters of the technology. The plant manufactures the full range of equipment required to make in-line haylage: balers, high-speed bale wrappers, roll cutting machines, and FRONTLIFT loaders. And center experts teach efficient methods of forage conservation and grant technological support.

Please find answers to questions frequently asked on the hot line

— How many pens are required for a milking herd a day?

Expert’s answer: 1 cow can consume up to 60 kg of grass per day. Subject to crop yield of about 150 cwt/ha it is required 0.5 ha per head for a summer season. About 40 sq.m are required for a day, but everything depends on crop yield and quality of grass stand. It is essential to control consumption of the dry substance in a correct way. Packed haylage is a worthy alternative that allows you to offer forage to animals that is equal to pasture yield by nutritive value and eating qualities.

— When is it time to make hay?

Expert’s answer: A mowing period directly effects quality of haylage, its nutritive value. In the first growth period – in case of grain varieties, before stem elongation, in case of bean cultures, before shooting — a plant gain mass due to leaves, and then due to a stem. As a result, in course of growth process quality of forage is deteriorating. Therefore, the best time for mowing of grain varieties is beginning of earing, bean cultures – beginning of budding. How can you understand that it is time? If buds appeared on 15% of plants afield – then it is time. It is important to remember that delay in grass cutting will result in rapid loss of nutrients in forage.

In case of squashing of bean cultures with stern of 8 cm, humidity of 52% must be reached by 8 hours. If you mow at 6 in the morning, then in the afternoon you can pack hay in film.

— Is it important when to mow?

Expert’s answer: Yes, time of a day effects nutritive value of herbs as within a day chemical composition of plants is changing. We made experiments. If we start to mow at 5 in the morning, then we will get grasses with maximum content of amino acids and carotene. In addition, it is possible to complete all required by the technological process flow actions with grass stand within a day. If we start fieldwork in the afternoon, in this case we will mow useless mass and it is unlikely that we manage to complete the work before end of a working day. Regions with a great number of sunny days and high air temperature are an exclusion. In case of mowing in the second half of a day nutritive value of some substances is gradually restoring, and content of sugar rapidly increases. If it is sugar that is required by a livestock expert, and forage harvesters are ready to work at night-time, then about 3 p.m. you can mow again.

Sometimes mowing is started too early, at 2 o’clock, in the morning to conserve maximum possible volume of herbage. Such variant is also possible but there are some niceties! At night-time content of carotene is maximum, and content of amino acids is lower. Carotene is a source of reproductive health of cattle, it is very important. If you are mowing during the whole night, it is essential to remember that forage portions mowed at 2 and 5 in the morning will differ by content of nutrients. Selection of mowing time is a tool used to control forage quality.

— How high should medick be cut in pure form?

Expert’s answer: Medick must be cut at least 6 cm high, in case of difference in soil levels – max 2 cm per ha. If you apply indirect combining, and mowing with further prewilting, then – at least 8 сcm high. Stubble will ensure a fan effect and cut time for this operation.

— It often rains. How long should be a weather window to converse packed forage?

Expert’s answer: The technology of packed haylage will help to minimize risks connected with regular rains. 12 hours of dry weather are enough. For this period grass stand will be blown over, and grass can be mowed, then herbage will be wilted up to 45-55% of humidity (it is the level that ensures maximum content of nutrients) and ready for collection and package. If herbage was initially prepared for hay, it passed a threshold of 30% of humidity and got rained on, it cannot be packed in the film as decomposition process have been already started (even if they are not visible).

— If the film is damaged during a storage term what should I do? Can I you usual scotch tape?

Expert’s answer: If you bought film that was stored at a seller’s warehouse for over 2 years, then there is a risk of its damage during the storage term. The same risks are present if a number of layers is reduced. Usually, there must be 6-8 layers. If you applied less than 5 layers, in this case birds can damage the film covering haylage rolls. You must rectify the situation as soon as possible as haylage must be stored without preservatives in air-free space. The damages must be glued up with a special repair scotch tape: it protects against penetration of oxygen. No other material can to it.

— How is it possible to ensure even wilting of bean cultures?

Expert’s answer: Bean cultures should be mowed by a mower-conditioner. A stem must be beaten in 3-4 places but not broken. Thus, both stems and leaves can be evenly wilted.

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