Quality Bales With Silotite1800


The couple, who farm 300 acres close to Abergavenny in Monmouthshire, decided to convert the farm from a dry stock to producing milk from goats and have not looked back since. The herd now totals 1,000 head of goats that are milked twice a day through a 20/40 swing parlour, with an average of more than 1,100 Litres per head with butterfat at 4% and protein at 3%. The goat’s milk is converted into cheese locally.

When it comes to fodder Gary says, "You need to be very careful with forage quality, storage and management; goats are fussy eaters and are more susceptible to problems (such as listeriosis) caused by poor quality forage and they can also suffer from acidosis."

Silage is a big investment so the focus is on making the best. Gary added, "We like to give a balanced diet and make some haylage to mix in for a healthy diet. All our forage is baled in large squares as we find this gives us more flexibility to take crops out at the right stage and at feeding time, the bales are easy to handle and stay fresh for longer unlike a large silage clamp face."

The 800 large square bales are made on three cuts per year, with a mix of perennial rye grass and white clover as well as Lucerne and maize grown on a rotation with a regular reseeding programme. The farm has their own mowers, tedders and rakes as well as a static bale wrapper but use a local contractor to bale the crop.

The bales are brought in for wrapping as the farm has a level free draining hard-core yard; this ensures the bales are not standing in water during heavy rain. Stacking with square bales is easier than with round bales as Gary and Jess can then stack up to 4 rows high depending on dry matter. The farm's aim for a DM of 35% – 40%

"When it comes to wrapping, we have always used Silotite a quality film purchased from the local Wynnstay store, when Ryan the local store manager told us about a new product from Silotite we decided to give it a go and were very impressed." Said Gary

Silotite 1800 is 300 metres longer which means more bales out of the roll with fewer changes. Silotite1800 also comes in convenient sleeve packaging with no box to open. The combination of the new packaging design and the longer roll length are a big benefit, making it easier and faster with less downtime.

Gary added, "We like new technology and are always keen to see the benefits, we have a robot that follows pins in the floor & keeps the silage pushed up to the goats in the feed passage, always keeping fresh fodder within easy reach."

Such is the success of the forage system used on the farm, Gary & Jess were recent winners of the FWGS Big Bale Silage competition, a combination of best practice methods and using the right products for the job.