bales vs clamp

Discussion in 'Stock Talk' started by jcb411abuser, Jun 29, 2012.

  1. jcb411abuser

    jcb411abuser Well-Known Member

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    i was always lead to believe that you could make substantially better silage in a bale than in a clamp, have been looking into this as since we are housing cattle all year and feeding on silage and not fresh grass then it has become alot more important to make the best possible silage.

    now it seems that there is some truth to it that bales are better, but apparently that isn't the general notion.

    i saw this on the net a good while ago http://www.dow.com/silage/research/cost.htm
    and just had a look at it today again, and there does seem to be a big difference in production of litres between bales and clamp, from our own experience at home, the few bales we made did make the cows produce more milk, but maybe this was a once off, coincidence:confused:

    i'm not trying to change anyones mind, just looking for honest opinions on which method will bring you more milk per tonne of fresh material, or if there is any difference at all.

    p.s. i'm sure there is a thread about this somewhere on here but i cant/couldnt be bothered to find it:whistling:
     
  2. Martin A

    Martin A Well-Known Member

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    Would the fact that bales are not chopped as much as pit silage be of benefit to the cows?

    I havent made a pit here for 5 years so cant really compare but I'm sure there are plenty on here that make both pit and bales.
     
  3. TMKF

    TMKF Well-Known Member

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    I'l see if I can dig up a study from Moorepark a few years ago that showed the difference between bale and pit DMD was minimal when the same quality of grass and wilting was used. The costs of bales were a minimum of about €10/tonne more expensive. As far as I'm concerned bales are pointless unless as grass measures
    The difference may be because people make less bales than they would in a first cut pit they allow more wilting and are earlier to get into the field (meaning higher sugars) and your link seems to suggest that. It doesn't seem to matter whether you make bales or pit the only benefit is that the bales are cut at higher sugar/pr percent
     
  4. jcb411abuser

    jcb411abuser Well-Known Member

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    this seems to be the general notion, but would have thought that bales would seal better, and being wrapped with a fusion like machine, would be saving more sugars seeing as it is sealed quicker. i suppose if you are doing your job at the pit right you should get near the same results.
     
  5. jcb411abuser

    jcb411abuser Well-Known Member

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    i thought both the bale and clamp silage came from the same sward on the same cut
     
  6. Grass Hopper

    Grass Hopper Guest

    Surely you'll get the best results from the animal standing in the field eating the fresh stuff itself,cutting out all that labour and diesel guzzling :001_unsure:
     
  7. TMKF

    TMKF Well-Known Member

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    Your right, I read the last paragraph wrong. While it does make for interesting reading...is DOW not a bale plastics manufacturer? Seems that research may be a little schewed if it is
     
  8. jcb411abuser

    jcb411abuser Well-Known Member

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    yea i know, taking it with a pinch of salt, but it does make good reading, think we will try 30 acres of bales in third cut and compare with the rest of the pit silage
     
  9. jcb411abuser

    jcb411abuser Well-Known Member

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    find cows are alot easier to handle inside, we are getting more milk with less meal than ever this year from good quality silage
     
  10. headcase

    headcase Very Senior Member

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    wont work fairly
    you need to get clamp and bales outta the same field to compare
     
  11. nashmach

    nashmach Moderator

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    What about cost and the P word?

    Sounds like an awful lot of diesel burning if you ask me.
     
  12. Larry David

    Larry David Very Senior Member

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    I would say it’s negligible, all things being equal. Whether it’s feasible for the farmer relying on contractors to take lighter cuts, wilted to the level bales can safely, is the issue. Chop length:D the vast majority of cows worldwide exist on finely chopped forage, perhaps provisions are made for their fibre requirements, I don't know.

    As for cows indoors ayr, some days I think it would make things so much easier, a hour will do a lot in the morning, make a mix, do cubicles. I prefer them out though, better in terms of milk yield, quality, health and cleanliness, bulling activity, cost etc. With a good fence, road and water setup, labour is minable. Really ayr only suits cows over 10,000 litres on tightly stocked farms.
     
  13. TMKF

    TMKF Well-Known Member

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    Larry are you secretly superman? It takes me a half hour minium for my 50 odd cubicles over winter! The diet feeder takes at least an hour generally 2! Otherwise I agree with you

    Leaving aside that I think it's completely unnatural for cows to be inside and less sustainable than a setting up as a dodo vet (e.g. diesel prices only rising, costs of inputs etc etc). I dunno how anyone would spend a full year scrapping cubicles it has to be the most mind-numbingly boring job ever!
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2012
  14. jcb411abuser

    jcb411abuser Well-Known Member

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    ye know alot of people put to much emphasis on diesel, yes it's too expensive as most of that is tax, but 5000euro will go a long way on diesel to putting in yer silage for the year, and tbh you wouldn't see it when yer cattle are thriving and milking well, and doing it on less meal.

    replacements is the real killer bill for us, 300 euro per cow per lactation is not on:no:
     
  15. Grass Hopper

    Grass Hopper Guest

    Do you not get horrendous ammounts of feet trouble from the cows being on concrete constantly :001_unsure:
     
  16. TMKF

    TMKF Well-Known Member

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    But why base your system on something that is only going to increase, and probably massively in the next few years:confused:
     
  17. James

    James Well-Known Member

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    Have heard it said both by people i bale for and those i don't that their cows always do better on bales compared to clamp and that cost and convenience dictates the majority being clamped.

    Pretty much every dairy farmer i know makes at least some bales either planned or grass thats got ahead so pluses and minuses for both systems
     
  18. tinman

    tinman Very Senior Member

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    it would all depend on what time both swards were cut at.

    id agree.
     
  19. jcb411abuser

    jcb411abuser Well-Known Member

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    actually our feet situation has gotten alot better, but this is probably down to a better foot bathing routine, and a better feet care man in aswell. having no serious problems.(touch wood)
     
  20. jcb411abuser

    jcb411abuser Well-Known Member

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    plan is to get a contractor in with baler and get him to make a few bales in each field kinda take random swaths with him same day as we lifting it.
     
  21. headcase

    headcase Very Senior Member

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    well all other things being equal i cant see any difference between the 2 bar chop lenght
     
  22. limerick man

    limerick man Well-Known Member

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    Ours seem to get worse when they go out,with all the walking and that grass and the weather.Its a lot easier to control a diet indoors,as long as you have good forages.
     
  23. jcb411abuser

    jcb411abuser Well-Known Member

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    i dont see it as too expensive, what is expensive is when cows aren't producing, and grassland is not being fully utilised, the way growth has been this year i don't think you could ask for a much better system than we have at the moment.

    and as i say it's the first time we've seen our cows really thriving and producing in years, must say the oul holstein suits it, alot are even getting to be what i can only describe as fleshy:scared::D
     
  24. jcb411abuser

    jcb411abuser Well-Known Member

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    ah that does worry me, i'm a big fan of short chop, time will tell that is if we get round to doing it
     
  25. tinman

    tinman Very Senior Member

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    look for a man with a sharp profi then so.:whistling:
     

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