Adverse weather provides benefits for equine firm

A north Northumberland business has reported an increase in demand due to the recent adverse weather across the country.

Silvermoor Haylage, a company that produces forage that is tailor-made for the equine market, has reported an increase in demand for its product due to this winter’s ‘weather bomb’.

Ralph Thompson, managing director of Silvermoor Haylage.

Ralph Thompson, managing director of Silvermoor Haylage.

The firm, which is based at Silvermoor Farm in Denwick, near Alnwick, produces haylage made from rye grass mixes using specialist processes that have been developed over the past decade.

In developing its products, Silvermoor has used experts such as Peter Schofield, of Oliver Seeds, for growing advice and vet Lesley Barwise-Munroe for feeding expertise.

Ralph Thompson, managing director of Silvermoor Haylage, said: “We’ve been experiencing an increase in demand from retailers as we enter the predicted poor winter weather.

“Horse-owners naturally want to keep their horses healthy during a colder winter.

“We have different varieties of haylage which will provide suitable levels of digestible fibre, energy and protein for every type of horse.

“Haylage has also been proven to be much better for horses as a forage material compared to hay, as it’s been shown to prevent or improve respiratory conditions; a fact that is particularly relevant as we enter a cold snap.”

Silvermoor Haylage comes in four specialised varieties – Silvermoor Active, Silvermoor Recreation, Silvermoor Timothy, Silvermoor Lite and a fifth which is due to be launched soon.

Mr Thompson added: “Our haylage is made specifically for horses, and is produced from specially grown and managed grasses.

“They have consistent feed values which include low protein, low sugar and high fibre.”

The company has been producing haylage since 1992 and in its present form since 2005.

Haylage is cut like hay, but only allowed to semi-wilt and not dry completely. It is often baled between 48 and 72 hours of being cut or when dry matter levels are from 60 to 70 per cent.