Pre-Cut NDF Tracker

Why should I monitor NDF development in silage fields?

NDF development of the grass crop offers a scientific basis to help optimise silage quality by informing 1st cut mowing decisions. To optimise 1st cut silage quality it is recommended to cut before the NDF content in pre-cut grass reaches 40%. To achieve this we recommend testing pre-cut grass (1st cut) weekly from mid-April to monitor NDF development and also provide information on sugar and free nitrate levels which are important in achieving a quality silage fermentation, as well as careful management of the ensiling process.

How do I take a representative pre-cut fresh grass sample to assess NDF content?

Take a representative Pre-Cut fresh grass sample that comprises of 10 sub-samples taken in an 'X' pattern across the area (two samples at each point on the 'X'). These should be cut with scissors at mower height and then placed into a sample bag.

Clearly label the sample bag with the customer name and sample reference, and complete a forage sample request form including: 

  • Your contact details
  • The full address for the farm including county
  • The sample reference
  • Tick the Pre-Cut grass testing box

Post the sample as soon as possible to the Trouw Nutrition GB laboratory.

N.B. Avoid sending samples on a Friday to avoid delays in the analysis if the sample is received over a weekend.

Latest Pre-Cut NDF Tracker

The below graph tracks the average NDF development in samples processed through the Trouw Nutrition GB laboratory leading up to 1st cut. This is a national average and it is important to monitor the situation on individual farms through pre-cut grass testing. 

 

What is GrassWatch?

GrassWatch is the weekly report compiled from Milk Yield from Grazing (MYFG) samples analysed through the Trouw Nutrition GB laboratory each week. The report includes information on grass growth data, grass quality, performance indicators and growing cattle, enabling advisors to discuss approaches to optimise health and performance.

GrassWatch Guide

Milk Yield from Grazing

In order to allow feed advisers and farmers to estimate the potential milk yield from grazing relevant to a specific farm, Trouw Nutrition GB has developed the Milk Yield From Grazing app.

Using average grass growth and quality data from the Trouw Nutrition GB laboratory the app allows quick calculation of the potential Milk Yield From Grazing and also gives guidance on the level of supplementary feeding needed to achieve the target milk yield.

Download the app:

Apple MYFG App Link Android MYFG App Link
MYFG App

If you would like to receive the weekly GrassWatch report please subscribe:

Subscribe to GrassWatch

 

 

Click below to view the GrassWatch videos on grass sampling and measuring grass cover:

View GrassWatch Videos

Example GrassWatch Report
Mark Hall
Ruminant Technical Manager
T.
+44 (0)1335 341203
M.
+44 (0)7923 222994
E.
Mark Hall
Dr Elizabeth Homer
Ruminant Technical Development Manager
T.
+ 44 (0) 1335 340054
M.
+ 44 (0) 7720 739897
E.
Dr Elizabeth Homer
Dr Laura Tennant
Ruminant Technical Adviser
T.
+44 (0)1335 341152
M.
+44 (0)7701 384158
E.
Dr Laura Tennant
Laura Drury
Ruminant Technical Adviser
T.
+44 (0)1335 341217
M.
+44 (0)7936 342423
E.
Laura Drury
Isabelle England
Ruminant Nutritionist
T.
+44 (0)1335 341155
M.
+44 (0)7917 277466
E.
Isabelle England