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When is the right time to cut my silage?

20-May-20
Silage season has kicked off as the fine weather shines over the country.
When is the right time to cut my silage?

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 crop regularly and cut when it is beginning to seed. Before cutting, it is advised 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, sunny weather conditions to ensure the sugars levels have peaked for the day. By allowing the crop to wilt, it will further increase the sugar concentration of the crop. The aim would be to allow your crop to wilt for 24 hours should the weather allow. Once wilted to 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 to our office in Bryanstown any day.

Pamela McCormack BSc (H) in Agricultural Science