July 27, 2016
AB Vista is offering free-of-charge, on-the-spot analysis for silage samples brought to the company's stand (H102) at the 3rd UK Dairy Day event, to be held in Telford on September 14.
Available to farmers, nutritionists and consultants, the service will be provided using NIR4 Farm, a hand-held near-infrared reflectance (NIR) spectrometer recently launched in the UK for on-farm forage and feed analysis.
"The variation in silage feed value even within a single clamp can be substantial," says Dr. Derek McIlmoyle, AB Vista's technical director for Great Britain and Ireland. "Since even a 2.5% reduction in silage dry matter can cut yields by 2 litres/cow in a herd averaging 30 litres/day, the potential impact on overall milk output is huge.
Regular and accurate analysis of silages is therefore vital if rations are to provide the consistent nutrient supply needed to maximise feed efficiency and overall farm profitability."
The latest data shows key parameters like dry matter can differ by as much as 10% from the top to the bottom of the clamp, and by as much as 8% from middle to the sides, with similar changes when moving back through the clamp.
"The hand-held NIR4 Farm allows silage quality to be easily tested on-farm with immediate results," Dr. McIlmoyle adds. "The portability of the device means farmers or nutritionists can continue to test and monitor silage quality throughout the season, enabling rations to be updated more often and at greater speed than has been possible in the past, saving both time and money."
NIR4 Farm is capable of analysing a wide range of forages, including grass, corn and wholecrop cereal silages, as well as fresh grass. A copy of analysis results generated at the event will also be sent to each individual via email.