Benefits of Spreading Lime
While lime can be spread generally at any time throughout the year, the autumn provides a good opportunity to spread. The Irish climate provides us with high rainfall over the entire year, the rain naturally reduces the pH of the soil over time and therefore lime needs to be applied regularly to maintain soils at a perfect pH for growing each crop. This optimises use of all fertilisers applied to the soil to ensure maximum output.
Trials have shown us that soils maintained at a pH of 6.5 can release up to 80kg N/ha/year, as well as releasing P, K and other micronutrients. Soil tests should be carried out to determine current soil pH and nutrient fertility, this can be arranged through your local Liffey Mills branch. This test will determine exactly what's needed in each field. Calcium limestone is the most common form of ground limestone available. Magnesium limestone (also called dolomitic limestone) can also be used, and are recommended where soil test magnesium levels are less than 50 mg/L. Granulated limestone is also an option for a convenient and quick response to spreading and can be done so with a fertiliser spreader.
Concentrate for Finishing Cattle
Energy is the most important nutrient required by finishing cattle. In addition to cereals, a wide variety of feed ingredients is available and used extensively in beef rations. Studies at “Teagasc Grange” showed that carcase weight gains and efficiency of feed conversion to carcase were similar for Rolled Barley and Wheat offered as a supplement to grass silage.
Research at Teagasc has also shown that cattle offered concentrates, formulated to have similar energy levels, but different ingredients, had similar intakes, growth, feed efficiency and carcase traits. Ingredients ranged from barley to maize and were offered either as a 5Kg/DM supplement with grass silage or Ad Lib (with 5Kg silage fresh weight daily). This showed that net energy levels of beef rations are more important than ingredient content.
Ground maize is usually included in cattle rations to increase performance and mainly due to ’anecdotal evidence’, to increase the rate of fat deposition and thus achieve earlier finish. The effect of replacing half of the barley in a barley based concentrate with maize meal on the performance of young bulls offered concentrates Ad Lib was also evaluated at Grange.
Intake was slightly higher for the maize meal based ration but there was no difference in carcase weight between the two rations.
Contact your Liffey Mills rep for all feeding options.
When finishing lambs in the autumn, grazed grass is the low cost option. However, pristine management of grass is essential to maintain progressive average daily gain (ADG), if grass quality is low, ADG of your lambs will suffer. This can be hard to maintain while trying to build grass for breeding stock. Research by Teagasc (Athenry) tells us that offering 250g/ concentrate per head per day, can result in 186g of ADG when compared to grass only. Increasing concentrate inclusion to 500g/hd/day can result in 227g of ADG. This is underpinned by good quality forage and supply. Liffey Mills manufacture high quality lamb finishing rations.
Our Lamb Finisher, a 17% protein ration formulated with an optimum balance of energy and protein sources for finishing lambs in a short space of time. This ration provides ample nutrients for rapid growth, maximum lean meat yield and feed conversion efficiency. Similar to our Lamb Creep Ration, it also contains a pelleted intensive lamb mineral to ensure that the lamb will consume and utilise the mineral in full. Additionally, ammonium chlorate and salt is added to aid in the prevention of urinary calculi in ram lambs. We also supply a Lamb fattener nut, please contact your Liffey Mills advisor or local branch for more information.
Grassland Post Emergence Herbicide
With a lot of reseeding carried out last month and more to be carried out over next month, weed control in reseeds is controlled best when grass is at 2-3 leaf stage. Most grass seed mixtures now contain clover, which is important in terms of forage quality and reducing nitrogen fertiliser inputs. Controlling weeds while protecting the clover is becoming increasingly difficult, largely due to a shortage of clover safe herbicides. However, every reseed is different with weed burdens, please contact your Liffey Mills Technical advisor or branch to find the best solution for you
Feeding Weanlings This Autumn
It’s a busy time of year on suckler farms around the country as farmers get their weanlings ready for the autumn market. It is a critical point in the calendar as every step taken will impact how the animal performs and ultimately the kgs on the weighing scale in the mart. Grassland management, a good animal health program and meal feeding are the most vital points to focus on. Forward grazing weanlings is a great way to add extra bang for your buck at grass as the weanlings are getting the pick of the pasture and also less exposure to worms as the pasture is clean from the last rotation. A good dosing program is very important and your local Liffey Mills advisor can give up to date advise on the various products to use. By reducing the worm burden on the calf weight gain can only improve.
Cattle are at one of their most efficient stages of lives before weaning. For every kilo of feed the animal consumes during this period the live weight gain is at is greatest with regards to feed weight gain ratio. Cooked and flaked ingredients will have the highest palatability and trials have shown an 8% increase in average daily weight gain over rolled products. By using the highest grade ingredients calves are a lot more eager to get started on the ration and will consume and convert more of the feed to weight putting more money in your pocket at the mart. Liffey mills 16% weanling crunch is by far the most popular and also best for performance. This crunch is also available in a nut form as Opti-Creep Cube which contains our exclusive Opti-Thrive calf mineral ensuring your weanlings reach their full potential and the inclusion of vitamin B1 provides real insurance against Cerbrocortical Necrosis (CCN).
Farmers should aim to feed bull calves 2.5 to 3kgs/day of meal and 2kg/day to heifers.
The National Ploughing Championships
The National Ploughing Championships makes a long anticipated return to Ratheniska in lovely Laois from Tuesday September 20th until Thursday 22nd. Be sure to join us in our stand, Block 2, Row 10, Stand No 165. These are sure to be great few days and we are delighted to have a stand at it this year. Looking forward to meeting all our customers there!
Block 2, Row 10, Stand No 165