Seed News

Grassland Oregon Announces New High-Sugar Silage Grass Mix

Date Posted: September 14, 2007

Keizer, OR (Sept. 10, 2007) –- Grassland Oregon announces the introduction of Sweet Silage™, a SucraSEED™ mix specifically designed for use in silage. This new product expands the line of high-sugar grass seed products that are designed to increase dairy milk yield and livestock growth while reducing environmental pollution.

The Sweet Silage mix combines three varieties of high-sugar grasses, as well as red clover, to create a silage mix that is designed to enhance performance and reduce the overall cost of silage production, while increasing the environmental benefits compared with traditional silage mixes of either alfalfa or red clover.

“This is a significant improvement in silage,” says Jerry Hall, research director for Grassland Oregon. “Recent studies by the US Department of Agriculture show that red clover performs better than alfalfa, and by introducing high-sugar grasses to the mix, we’re able to further increase the silage performance.”

The improvements are due to the presence of high-sugar grasses. In a study performed in the UK, it was shown that the efficiency of incorporation of silage Nitrogen (N) into microbial N was more than 20% greater in high-sugar grass than for the control grass silage. A mix containing high-sugar grass and red clover increased the efficiency of N use by greater than 40% compared with red clover silage. Ensiling high-sugar grasses results in silage with greater residual water-soluble carbohydrate content (Davies et al., 2002).

Water-Soluble Carbohydrates

Water-soluble carbohydrates (WSC) provide the energy needed for fermentation. By incorporating high-sugar grasses into the silage mix more efficient fermentation will occur. Typically, WSC levels can decrease by as much as 2/3 in the ensiling process. Starting with high WSC varieties ensures that the remaining WSC in the silage are at optimal levels. Studies performed in the UK also show that the resulting silage is higher in palatability, which can lead to increased dry matter intake and improved gains in milk yield.

There are other significant advantages to the SucraSEED Sweet Silage mix. In addition to the increased milk production, US farmers using SucraSEED have seen demonstrable improvements in early spring growth, as well as enhanced weed suppression, drought and cold tolerances. The mixture is also substantially more cost effective than alfalfa and red clover mixes.

According to Hall, “Using the Sweet Silage mix can provide a forage-based strategy for silage; one that balances nitrogen and energy supply for rumen microbial growth and in so doing, improves the efficiency of nitrogen use in the rumen of animals fed silage as their sole diet.”

About SucraSEED™

The SucraSEED mixtures produce a progressive variety of high-sugar forage grass that is in wide use in Europe and New Zealand, and now the US, with profitable results.

The grasses contain high levels of water-soluble carbohydrates (sugars), which, by providing extra energy to microbes in the animals’ rumen, allow the animals to digest more of the protein that they take in. As a result, more grass protein is converted to milk and meat, and less is excreted as unused nitrogen into the land — which is a significant environmental benefit.

SucraSEED offers an advantage in the context of future farming practices — the grasses were developed through traditional breeding methods, and therefore are not genetically modified organisms (GMO).

In addition to the new Sweet Silage and just released Pasture Sweet’ner products, Grassland Oregon’s SucraSEED product line includes mixtures specially formulated for specific livestock: Beef Bank™ (for cattle) Cash Cow™ (for dairy) and Great Gains™ (for sheep and goats).

Grassland Oregon is a progressive seed company based in Keizer, Oregon, in the heart of the seed industry. The company markets turf grasses and specializes in forage grass seed mixtures specifically blended for use in grazing livestock.

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