First cut silage yield down 40pc but high quality
First cut silage yields are 40pc behind normal levels this year, although the quality of the earliest crops have been described as excellent.
Late closed paddocks, late fertiliser applications and disastrous grass growth conditions have combined to deliver very light crops, according to silage contractors.
Mitchelstown contractor PJ Crotty said first cut yields on the early crop were down 40pc on normal, with cutting delayed by at least a week on the driest farms.
A 97ac block of silage owned by Liam Roche, Ballybeg, Mitchelstown, yielded between 8t/ac and 10t/ac according to the contractor. The silage ground had been closed before the end of March.
However, Mr Crotty said silage on many farms was several days behind due to late fertiliser application.
Mallow-based contractor Timmy O'Brien racked up 1,000 bales on the counter in the past fortnight.
"Crops are very light," he remarked. "They're getting six bales to the acre on grass wilted for two days."
Six 4x4 bales per acre wilted for 36-48 hours would equate to approximately 5.4t/ac in settled pit silage.