Marking, documenting and calculating for safe, optimised forage usage
On Jon-Jon farm, the focus is on optimising silage. Good quality, many forage analyses and skill in optimising animal rations are part of this. Cutting costs by producing all silage in areas close to the farm is also desirable.
Mapping of tube silos and a Excel spreadsheet on silage use make this possible. In mapping, an account is made of where silage of different types is situated, the amounts and corre-sponding silage analysis. The tube silos are also marked every 2 m and at the place where a new load or silage analysis begins.
By entering the total stock of silage in a spreadsheet, the use can be planned until next har-vest, which can be up to a year ahead. If there is a shortage of forage, then it is possible to reduce rations or number of cows. An alternative is to fill a smaller first-cut tube silo to be used in summer. This is an economic method to ensure enough silage and makes it possible to avoid excess storage of silage.
Reason for the innovation
Interest in calculating and monitoring to optimise use of farm resources
This farm has always had a strategy for monitoring cuts, forage analyses and inventory. Improvements have been made continuously. Computerisation revolutionised the system, with Excel spreadsheets being particularly useful. The Excel spreadsheet is used for making decisions or when an issue arises.
- Soil types: Sandy to sandy loam soils
- Climate: Cool continental climate
- Altitude: 130 m a.s.l
- Slope: 0 %
- The farm is situated in Hälsingland, central Sweden.
- Grazing: Yes, exercise pasture.
- Temporary grassland based on red clover, white clover, timothy, festucoid Festulo-lium and meadow fescue.
- Owns machinery for windrowing. Uses a contractor for cutting and chopping.
- Manure spreading with own machinery.
- Annual Work Unit: 5
- 266 ha agricultural area.
- 120 ha temporary grassland area.
- Wheat and barley are grown. Ley is renewed by sowing in pure stands.
- 160 dairy cows (Holstein), producing 12,500 kg milk per year in VMS.
- Heifers are raised in cooperation with another farm.
Why it is working
Silage is stored in tube silos and a small number of big bales. An accompanying Excel spreadsheet lists where silage corresponding to a certain forage analysis is situated. As the silage is weighed when mixing, it is also possible to calculate total yield of harvested forage. A good computer-based protocol used with good discipline makes for success.