Rain disrupts silage season

Michael Barrett and his crew at work.
Michael Barrett and his crew at work.

Unsettled weather has halted silage cutting in many parts of the country, but last week west Limerick agricultural contractor Michael Barrett and his crew (pictured) were at work at Salesian Agricultural College, Pallaskenry.

Michael bought a new John Deere 8500 self-propelled forage harvester from Geary's Garage, Kilmeedy, Limerick in recent weeks.

The harvester is equipped with HarvestLab 3000 which allows it to give on-the-go measuring of moisture, dry matter, protein, starch, fibre, neutral detergent fibre, acid detergent fibre, and sugar.

First-cut silage in Pallaskenry was taken on May 17, a week earlier than last year.

As drought was starting to set in, they wanted fields to have 'greened up' so that a second cut could be taken in late June/early July. However, the drought was short-lived, and the explosion in growth after the rainfall meant that they had to take an 'in-between cut' last week as grass on grazing paddocks across the dairy and beef enterprises was in abundance.

The 'in-between cut' of 45 acres means they are still on track for a second cut in late June/early July.

Meanwhile, Met Eireann is forecasting that the eastern half of the country will have close to twice its average rainfall this week.

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