By P&L Agriconsulting, Oct 25 2020 05:38PM
Due to decreased volumes of straw harvested in 2020, availability for this winter looks to be restrictive, therefore prices have been increasing over the past few month; and may increase further over winter 2020.
Therefore alternatives may need to be looked at, not only from a price point but a physical availability of quality straw.
Sand- this product is being used in increasing amounts in dairy cubicles- with advantages being seen in decreased bacteria rates. However, Sand can also be used in loose housed systems for both dairy and beef, at a recommended depth of 20- 30cm. Sand can also be used as a base product and topped up with straw. With advantages seen in improved drainage in the bedding. Although disposal of sand needs to be considered, with large amounts effecting pH of soil when spread.
Woodchip- This can be re-used for numerous winters and is readily available, being ideal for a loosed housed system. The key with this product being the quality obtained, has it may contain nails or staples, especially if known as a ‘recycled wood product’- usually you get what you pay for with regards to variation in product.
Paper- This can be used as a loose housed bedding product at rates of circa 10cm depth for beef and sheep (increased depth for dairy). This product is highly absorbent and easy to store, however disadvantages come when it gets too wet, as it can set solid and be a breeding ground for pathogens (therefore animals with low protein diets are more suited).
Sawdust- This product is known to be effective in cubicles, however it can also be used in a loose housing situation. Advantages are seen in animal comfort and being more easily disposable with manure onto the land. However it does need to be topped up regularly has it is highly absorbent and can harbour bacteria.
To find out more contact P&L Consultant Sarah Lea on 07903 021875 or email [email protected]