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Hay silage

Silage, fodder converted into succulent feed for livestock through processes of anaerobic bacterial fermentation, is an important way for farmers to feed stock during times when pasture isn’t good, particularly during drought condition.

Specific considerations for hay silage

The production of good, to high quality, hay silage is firstly dependent on utilising a high quality pasture, both in terms of composition of grass species and soil fertility. High quality silage consumes a large amount of nutrients, so key to success is to plan, soil test, and prepare fields by applying adequate nutrients and ameliorates. Nutrient deficiencies need to be identified and rectified early, with tissue tests recommended at early tillering, followed by applications of required macro or micronutrients with a biostimulant to aid nutrient uptake, and to promote vegetative growth.

The BioAg approach

BioAg nutrition programs are incorporated into a growers current nutrition program. Our objective is to make fertiliser and other inputs work better and build and support healthy and balanced soils and plants. Programs are custom-made for each block, using advanced soil and tissue analysis. These integrated programs typically incorporate a range of BioAg solid and liquid nutrients, often associated with conventional inputs. BioAg fertility programs can be developed to meet organic certification requirements.

Soil test

An experienced and Fertcare accredited BioAg agronomist works with you and provides technical expertise on your crop. If you don’t already have recent soil test data, we arrange a soil test for you. The results provide essential information about the soil fertility and soil structure for better performance.

A tailored program

Based on the results of soil tests, crop requirements and other factors such as soil structure, climate, history of the block, and targets that you are trying to achieve, we provide a tailored program that aims to improve soil fertility and maximise yield response. We support you through the program to ensure that inputs are applied at the right time, in the right way.

Leaf and tissue testing

Any nutritional program cannot foresee the changes in weather, disease, or pests, that may impact a crop.  During the season, growers may observe issues or evidence of stress in their crop. This may be due to greater growth or yields than planned, a trace element shortage or abiotic stresses. An on-farm inspection and associated leaf or tissue tests will promptly identify any issues, which can quickly be addressed by applying the appropriate inputs.

High yielding crops require fertile balanced soils

Key to highly productive crops is the function of soils. Soil structure, chemistry and biology are critical in supporting crops throughout the growing season. By improving all aspects of the soil, crops will benefit from improved access to moisture, due to improved infiltration and water holding capacity, improved access to nutrition through improved nutrient cycling, fixation (for N) and a reduction in loss pathways, improved resilience to abiotic stresses and disease, improved root growth providing access to additional moisture and nutrients as well as improved carbon sequestration and a range of other benefits (link to resources - soil health).

Beneficial microorganisms stimulate the plant’s root growth and help protect it from abiotic stresses. This is made possible through mutually beneficial relationships that microbes develop with plants, for example mycorrhizal associations.   BioAg products programs supply essential macronutrients (N, P, K, S, Ca), trace elements (B, Zn, Cu etc.),  microbial food and metabolites beneficial microorganisms that colonise root systems, improving soil function, plant health and productivity.

Several almonds lay on a flat surface

Hay silage – key features of a BioAg program

The following table illustrates the cropping process and potential solutions depending on soil test results and other contributing factors. Call your BioAg Area Manager to discuss your individual needs.

Planning
Objective
Growers to have a plan in place for the cropping season that takes into account the specific nature, and long term objectives, of their soils and farming practice.
Activity
Book a soil test and consultation with your local BioAg Representative.
BioAg Product
Prior to sowing
Objective
Provide optimal soil conditions and nutrition to support crops. Prepare soils for the period of the rotation addressing soil structure, chemistry (eg pH) and nutrition.
Activity
When applied, ameliorates support crops through the entire season, by including sustained release phosphate and boron at a rate based on soil levels and the needs of your crop.
BioAg Product
BioAgPhos: 100 – 250kg/ha
Prior to sowing
Objective
Provide optimal soil conditions and nutrition to support crops. Prepare soils for the period of the rotation addressing soil structure, chemistry (eg pH) and nutrition.
Activity
When applied, ameliorates support crops through the entire season, by including sustained release phosphate and boron at a rate based on soil levels and the needs of your crop.
BioAg Product
PotPhos with SoP: 150 – 500kg/ha
At sowing
Objective
Provide the essential nutrition and food sources to promote emergence and early plant growth and vigour, critical in the development of stronger more resilient crops.
Activity
Incorporate a soil biostimulant to increase soil organic carbon and important microbial food sources, and metabolites, to improve nutrient access and minimise nutrient losses.
BioAg Product
Soil & Seed: 2 – 5L/ha
Early tillering
Objective
Identify any nutrient deficiencies.
Activity
Perform a tissue test.
BioAg Product
-
Early tillering
Objective
Stimulate crop growth at critical growth stages, respond to abiotic stresses, and optimise the uptake and use of foliar nutrients.
Activity
Foliar application with planned applications of chemicals or fertilisers.
BioAg Product
Balance & Grow: 1 – 4L/ha multiple applications 28 days apart.

Hay silage resources

  • Pasture and hay case study, Dunkeld VIC

    A biological soil nutrition program is enabling Victorian farmers, Gavin and Vikki Bensch, to shrug off the effects of the drought and produce some of the best clover hay they have ever grown. Gavin and Vikki grow about 180 hectares of clover hay, wheat, linseed, field ...

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  • Dairy case study, Murrabit VIC

    As a consequence of the drought, John has moved away from summer pasture and now concentrates on maximising fodder conservation (silage) in the spring, which he then feeds out in the summer months. This minimises heat stress within the herd and helps prevent the drop in...

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  • Regenerative agriculture

    The term regenerative agriculture has become aligned, or associated hand in hand, with the improvement of soils, improved soil fertility, and the benefits this provides to farms and rural communities. The approach typically promoted is a holistic one, taking into accoun...

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  • Making a difference to silage and hay crop

    Brothers James and Joe Harney from Elmore Compost Group, one of our valued clients in Elmore Victoria, have been growing quality domestic vetch hay for many years. Wanting a good hay year, we put in place a BioAg program that was specifically tailored for his farm and f...

    Read more

Recommended products

bag of BioAg Phos solid fertiliser

BioAgPhos

Solid Fertiliser

Highly reactive phosphate fertiliser made from high-grade reactive phosphate rock combined with BioAg’s microbial digesting agent.

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Soil & Seed

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Formulated to improve soil microbial activity, natural soil fertility and moisture and nutrient utilisation.

BioAg Biostimulant product Balance & Grow

Balance & Grow

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Formulated to increase vegetative growth, root development and soil microbial activity. Ideal for broadacre, pastures and horticulture.

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Incorporates BioAgSoP and BioAgPhos in a blend ideal for soils that need phosphorus, sulphur, and calcium, such as pastures and grazing.

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Committed to organics

With a core range of natural fertilisers and biostimulants, BioAg can offer an extensive range of products certified by Australian Organics, suitable for use in organic systems.