Silage season kicks off with 'exceptional' crops

Gamble Bros Agri Contractors cutting silage outside Ballymoney, Antrim.
Gamble Bros Agri Contractors cutting silage outside Ballymoney, Antrim.

The silage season kicks off in earnest in most parts of the country this week.

Although many farmers have already harvested considerable quantities of bales from paddocks that went strong, contractors began cutting the main silage crop over the last few days.

Yields are reported to be running in the 8-10t/ac range, with quality being described as excellent.

Gary Walsh from Claregalway, Co Galway said crops in the area were generally coming in at 9.5-10t/ac. He said harvest conditions "couldn't get any better", but admitted that some farmers probably were hoping that the rains would add some extra bulk to crops. Richie White from Drangan in south Tipperary has been balancing reseeding, slurry, maize planting and silage over the last week.

He said crops were coming in around 9-10t/ac and the quality of the silage was exceptional.

"There is a trend now for farmers to go more for quality silage and take three cuts," he explained.

Philip Heary from Kells, Co Meath was involved in the silage harvest in Dublin Airport recently but is back to basics this week.

He said the silage crops he has cut to date have been top quality, or "pure sugar" as he put it. Yields have averaged around 8-9t/ac.

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