Silage quality should be better this year
Published 24/06/2015 | 02:30
One month ago today my first cut silage was completed. With the dramatic pick-up in the weather during the third and last week of May, it was a case of working closely with the silage contractor and listening attentively to weather forecasts.
I got three grass samples checked the previous Thursday and they showed up sugar levels of 6.5pc, 5.5pc and 3.5pc. I was surprised myself that they were as high. Nitrogen levels were very low also with one reading showing between 50-100 and the other two down at 25. These readings encouraged me to definitely go for cutting.
The grass was cut in 10ft swaths flat on Monday, May 25. It was raked into 30ft rows the next day and picked up that evening. No additive was applied.
Silages should be a lot better this year as grass was of better quality and a lot drier at cutting time. The amount of effluent run off was a lot less than last year. I was happy enough with the yield of grass considering the poor grass growth in May.
My slurry contractor was starting to mix tanks before we finished covering the pit. He had a lot of slurry moved within 48 hours.
Around 2,500 gallons per acre was spread. Ten days later I spread 60 units of nitrogen (N) mainly in the form of urea and cut sward. Some of the silage ground needed a bit extra of 16pc phosphorus (P) and 50pc potassium (K) which was mixed in with the urea manually. It worked out at a little over half a bag per acre.
I have taken out six acres of my silage ground for reseeding. It was sprayed off with roundup and it will be ploughed this week, around 12 days after spraying off. Ploughing is a great way of getting rid of the farmyard waste such as waste silage and calf house bedding.