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To contact one of our “Forage for Profit” team, call the Seed Office on 01769 576232
or Graham Ragg on 07798 583667
or email info@molevalleyfarmers.com.

Understanding Analysis

In order to improve forage quality, it is important to understand the main measures used in forage analysis, D-value and ME, and the main factors which influence them. The diagram below sets out the basics.



Guide to improving forage quality

*In order to make 72 D-value silage grass should be cut at 75 D-value, as 3 units of D-value are lost in the fermentation process.

Metabolisable Energy (ME) is the most important measure of energy content of forage when fed to ruminant livestock; representing the amount of energy available after accounting for losses in digestion, gases and urine. Digestibility value (D-value) is the content of digestible organic matter in the dry matter expressed as a percentage. D-value decreases progressively as the forage matures and becomes more stemmy. It is a good guide to overall nutritive value.

The importance of cutting date and interval on forage quality

Once the right quality of grassland ley has been established, the main factor which will determine silage quality is cutting date/interval. To help livestock farmers produce better forage, we have adjusted our cutting date advice in our new 2010 MVF Premier Ley catalogue, to cut grass at 75 D-value in order to produce good quality 72 D-value silage of 11.5 ME. For those producers who want even higher ME and D-value, cutting one week earlier will lift D-value by 3 units. Conversely, cutting one week later than the recommended date will reduce D-value by 3 units.

A great deal of forward planning, investment in new swards and good management is key to setting improved forage targets and achieving them.

Our Forage for Profit focus is about helping those who want to improve forage quality and profitability.

A great deal of forward planning, investment in new swards and good management is key to setting improved forage targets and achieving them.
 



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