Silage season has kicked off as the fine weather shines over the country. There is silage down all over but there is no point cutting just because everyone else has theirs down. There are a few steps to follow before getting the wheels rolling. The quality of your grass will greatly impact the feed value next winter.
The date of cutting your silage can greatly impact the crop. Research has found that cutting your silage in May will leave your crop with a higher DMD as cutting it in June. We advise farmers to walk their crops regularly and cut when it is just beginning to seed. Before cutting, it is very important to observe both the sugar and nitrogen content of the crop. Having both as advised will allow the crop to preserve much better in the pit. Sugar levels should be above 3% before starting to cut. Grass silage can be tested for sugar and nitrogen content at our office.
Silage should be mowed during fine weather to ensure the sugar levels have peaked for the day. There should also be no morning dew on the crop as this will decrease the DMD. By allowing the crop to wilt, it will further increase the sugar content of the crop. The aim would be to allow the crop to wilt for at least 24 hours. Once wilted, the crop should be brought to the pit and sealed as soon as possible to allow the preservation process to begin.
To get a grass sample tested, give the office a call on 051565588 or bring a sample into the office.