Dr. Roland Gimpel (farm manager)

Frankfurt/Oder (Brandenburg), Agrargesellschaft Lichtenberg

Farm data
  • Altitude: 95 m NN
  • Average yearly rainfall: 540 mm, drought before summer
  • Total farm acreage: 1825 ha, grass acreage: 400 ha ley farmin
  • Dairy cows: 1500 cows (milk performance: 11.000 kg/cow and year (3,4 % crude protein, 4 % fat), 1200 yearling cows
  • Grass silage quality: 6,5 MJ NEL (1. cut), between 5,5-6 MJ NEL in the following cuts (in total 4 cuts)
  • COUNTRY-mixture: COUNTRY F 2052 field forage, without clover, 2-4 years

“In production of grass silage we focus on two-four year ley farming. There are good reasons for us to work in this way. We reduce the annual costs for new establishment, usually we renew only 150-200 ha. At the same time we reduce the growing risk. If there is too much water at sowing time or if there is not enough water during the vegetation period, the new established areas usually suffer more then the older ones. Due to the balanced composition of COUNTRY F 2052 we achieve even in the fourth year excellent yields. Depending on weather and year, we reach between 120-180 dt/ha DM.

Very important for us is the first cut of the year, not only because of the mass yield, but also because of its quality. It is our protein cut we exclusively feed to our high-producing cows. Our goal in silage production is to achieve the optimum combination of yield and quality, it is the only way we can achieve the high performance of 10,000 kg of milk per cow and per year. All following cuts are only feed to our high-producing cows when the quality is nearly as good as the first cut. After we have done own trials for a long time, we think that with COUNTRY F 2052 we have found the right mixture for our site and our demands.”

Harald Nitschke (farm manager)

Ramin (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern), Raminer Agrar GmbH & Co. KG

Farm data
  • Altitude: 13 m NN
  • Average yearly rainfall: 530 mm, drought before summer
  •  Total farm acreage: 3.300 ha, grass acreage: 600 ha
  • Dairy cows: 610 (milk performance: 10.100 kg/cow and year (3,4 % crude protein, 4 % fat
  • Composition of basic ration (dairy cows): 60 % maize silage, 40 % grass silage
  • Beef cattle: 1.700 (daily weight gain of fattening races: 1350 g/day)
  • Composition of basic ration (beef cattle): 67 % maize silage, 33 % grass silage
  •  500 kW biogas plant, additional 600 kW biogas plant is in construction (70-80 % slurry, 30 % maize and grass)
  • Grass silage quality: 6,2-6,3 MJ NEL (1. cut), additional cuts: 5-5,7 MJ NEL
  • Grassland trials with Landesforschung in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (official grassland institute) and University of Stettin (Poland)
  • Used COUNTRY-mixture: COUNTRY E 2025 silage

"Successful grassland management is just possible, when you do it as intensive as an arable farmer takes care of his cereal production. Precondition is a high performing grass sward, which gives high dry matter yields and very good silage quality. This is the only way to achieve high milk production and high daily weight gains in bull fattening. You recognize the importance of grass silage just because we do not only feed the silage to dairy cows, but in the same way to our fattening bulls. The importance of grass silage for our second planned biogas plant will also increase.
Intensive grassland use gives free additional land for arable farming. Each hectare, on which we do not produce food for the animals, is free for the production of wheat, canola and other crops with high gross margins. This is a real double benefit which is often not seen.
Our grassland is renewed every 7-8 years. We focus on COUNTRY E 2025 silage. This mixture was originally developed as "Ramin mixture" especially  for our farm. Due to the high content of meadow fescue and timothy COUNTRY E 2025 is very well suited for cutting. Perennial ryegrass and Kentucky bluegrass are responsible for a persistent and dense sward. This composition ensures even on wet or cold locations, low moor and in higher altitudes high yield and persistence"

Robert Felgentreu (manager crop production)

Stüdenitz-Schönermark (Brandenburg), AG Stüdenitz

Farm data
  • verage yearly rainfall: 540 mm; drought before summer, nearly no or small rainfall in April
  • Total farm acreage: 1.050 ha, grass acreage: 380 ha intensive used grassland
  • Dairy cows: 960 cows (milk performance per cow: 8854 l/cow and year (3,5 % protein, 4 % fat), 830 yearling cows
  • Composition of the basic ration: ?? % maize silage, ?? % grass silage, ?? % straw, about 5000 l milk come out of basic ration
  • 500 kW biogas plant (70 % slurry, 30 % maize and grass)
  • Grass silage quality: 6,6 MJ NEL (1. cut), 6,1 MJ NEL (2. cut), 5,9 MJ NEL (3. cut), 5,6 MJ NEL (4. cut)
  • Used COUNTRY-mixture: COUNTRY E 2025 silage

„We invest in our grassland, otherwise we would not achieve high yields and appropriate forage qualities. Every year we establish 40 ha of new swards with COUNTRY E 2025. And every three years we reseed those fields with the same COUNTRY-mixture or a COUNTRY-mixture with a high content of perennial ryegrass. That is the way we achieve persistent and high performing grass swards. Meadow fescue and timothy give yield, timothy is very well suited for cold areas and low moor. Perennial ryegrass, especially when the grassland is used for several years, gives additional yield and sward density.
With the same intensity we also do fertilization and all kind of grassland management over the year. First of all we use our own slurry or substrate from the biogas plant. But we complete fertilization depending on the area and the nutrient supply of the soil with phosphorus, potash and sulfur. Important part of forage management in spring is currying and leveling, to open up the soil surface for improve aeration and to reduce silage contamination. Only then can we achieve silage qualities of 6,6 MJ NEL in the first cut and 5,6 to 6,1 MJ NEL in the following cuts. Grass silage is for us not only an important component of dairy cow feeding, but also for use in our own biogas plant. "