Heard about silage additives that help maximise the output of milk and electricity used to produce the only yoghurt manufactured in Northern Ireland?
At Clandeboye Estate near Bangor in Co Down silage made with Ecosyl additives from Volac has the consistent good quality essential when managing two different dairy cow breeds and an anaerobic digester!
This is the view of farm manager Mark Logan, who makes grass, maize and wholecrop silages fed to the award winning Clandeboye Pedigree Holstein and Pedigree Jersey Herds.
Ruminants with very particular needs as regards diet so that variable quality silage between years or cuts is not acceptable.
Adding to the pressure on Mark and team to make silage of a consistent quality is the latest enterprise at Clandeboye, an anaerobic digester in use since June past.
“It is almost like trying to match the needs of a third type of ruminant as an anaerobic digester requires skilful management. Variations in input can quickly cause major problems and a drastic fall in power produced,” explained Mark.
“Aside from slurry each day and two tonne of farmyard manure other inputs to the digester include short chopped silage. This means we have at least three silage faces open all winter and one or two all summer as we buffer feed cows at grass and still need silage for the anaerobic enterprise.
“So applying Ecosyl, a simple task for our contractors, gives peace of mind as regards stopping spoilage on open pit faces.
“We have been using Ecosyl for much of the 25 years I have been at Clandeboye and see no reason to change. It works for us.”
Currently the Clandeboye herd of 70 Holsteins and 30 Jerseys has a rolling average of 4.5 butterfat and 3.45 protein from twice a day milking.
“Just as our two breeds and anaerobic digester need consistent silage so our expanding Clandeboye yoghurt business must have milk with a consistent analysis.”
But how does a 100 cow farm in North Down compete on the crowded dairy products market with national and multinational yoghurt manufacturers? According to Mark Logan by aiming not at the mass market, but at those who like to buy premium produce from a place they know.
Currently Clandeboye yoghurts are retailed in NI by supermarket chains Tesco, Sainsbury and Asda as well as in convenience stores and delis. Now the yoghurt range is being expanded and the Clandeboye team is looking at markets beyond the UK.
Commenting on the estate’s experience with Ecosyl silage additives Volac forage specialist Noel McGrath noted: “As a science based company Volac continues to improve their products. Our Welsh R & D facility at Port Talbot ensures additives are continually being enhanced to promote better output, herd health and fertility.
“Only Ecosyl additives contain MTD/1 bacteria, which in 14 lactation studies conducted by University and Government research scientists across the UK, mainland Europe and North America was shown to increase milk production by 4.5%.”
A comment supported by Martin Scott of Ecosyl NI distributors Thompsons.
“Ecosyl has been proven, time and again, to give farmers peace of mind in good summers and bad by maximising silage quality and stability,” he said.
For further details browse www.volac.com/ecosyl or contact Thompsons tel; (028) 9035 1321.