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More gain from your grain
Whether your crop is forage-harvested (as wholecrop silage) or combine-harvested (to produce high energy and/or protein concentrates), effective preservation with minimal losses is essential, and at Kelvin Cave Ltd we pride ourselves on being able to supply proven, cost-effective solutions to ensure you get the best from all your crops.
Wholecrop and arable silages can often make up a shortfall in overall forage stocks, as well as adding that special ‘something’ that improves DM intake and overall animal performance. However, although most wholecrop silages ferment easily, they are very prone to aerobic spoilage, resulting in very high nutrient losses and reduced palatability; this is caused by the activity of yeasts and moulds which cover the crop at harvest and can survive in the sealed clamp almost indefinitely.
Once the clamp is opened and air penetrates the face these microorganisms multiply rapidly, feeding on lactic acid, sugars and starch - breaking down protein and causing the silage to heat. By treating the silage with Safesil (which kills yeasts and moulds) and sealing the clamp with O² Barrier 2in1 (which is up to ten times more effective at excluding oxygen than conventional silage sheets) these expensive losses can be eliminated. Dairy farmers Simon Ward, in Cornwall, and Martin Hoddinott, in Somerset, talk about the success they have had with their wholecrop silage using this system in the following articles: Simon Ward & Martin Hoddinott.
For those with adequate grass and/or maize silage to meet their needs, combining their cereal crops for crimping offers the most cost-effective way of producing a high-energy, high-starch concentrate. Earlier harvesting and the high digestibility of crimped cereals, together with the elimination of drying costs and the low-cost storage requirements of crimped grain, make this method highly attractive.
On pages 6 and 7 Fraser Scott, one of the
UK’s biggest beef finishers, describes how crimping his cereal crops with his Korte 1400 crimper and treating them with Crimpstore 2000S has streamlined his business and produced consistent results, enabling him to take 90-plus finished cattle to slaughter every week of the year!
Peas and lupins harvested at 25% to 30% moisture, crimped and treated with Crimpstore 2000S can alleviate worries about expensive protein supplementation, and have the additional benefit for following crops of fixing nitrogen, thereby reducing fertilizer costs. Well worth considering including these in your rotation if you’re not doing so already!
Where naturally-dried grain is the preferred option two tried and tested preservatives come into their own. Crimpstore Hi-Dry for grain and pulses harvested between 15% and 30% moisture allows the convenience of clamp storage of drier crimped grain. Propcorn NC, the non-corrosive, low-fuming and safer alternative to traditional propionic acid treatment, is suitable for effective preservation of both whole and rolled grain where a dry grain store is available.
To complete the package look at the machinery options on the Essentials for crimping article. The Silapactor has been proving its worth on farms throughout the UK, increasing compaction density of silage (always an issue with ‘fluffy’ wholecrop) by up to 40%, and saving fuel by reducing the number of passes the tractor on the clamp needs to make to exclude air from the forage.
For grain processing options, the well-known market-leading Murska and Korte crimpers (with outputs from 5 to 40 tonnes per hour) and the versatile KC Bruiser 1250 have a new stable mate, the KC Bruiser 600. This roller mill can be configured to meet individual requirements and either a stationary PTO- or electric-driven machine or a trailed option is available. Ask us about the right machine for your situation.