The most efficient stage for baled silage

Mostly for spring calving sucklers

We normally cut late June when Timothy is at full seed head (central Scotland)
All ground is grazed pretty hard with sheep into April, and PRG is currently just starting to show some heads.
We ted and dry down to almost hay to get max DM per bale.

With the cost of wrap and fuel this year are we best to go for bulk which will give us more bales to divide fert costs over, but give us more bales to handle and wrap?
Or cut now and have a higher fert cost per bale but less handling, fuel and wrap and more feed value in each bale?

Straw isn't an issue as we usually have surplus, so better silage can be restricted at suit as opposed to feeding more later cut silage.

Obviously the sooner I free up cutting ground the more grass I can build up for the autumn, which is another advantage of cutting earlier.
 

wdah/him

Member
Location
tyrone
Having been on a few farm walks where cattle were fed only in the morning with quality silage and had enough space to eat at once, grouped to fat score for calving dates. I would think it better to make less of better quality and restrict feed if the facilties allow. The cows didnt seem to worried when 20 people were in the yard, no noise and quite content when settled on the once a day.
 
Having been on a few farm walks where cattle were fed only in the morning with quality silage and had enough space to eat at once, grouped to fat score for calving dates. I would think it better to make less of better quality and restrict feed if the facilties allow. The cows didnt seem to worried when 20 people were in the yard, no noise and quite content when settled on the once a day.
That's more what I'd be inclined to do, I do it to a point with rougher silage later in the winter, but I know some who cut early (3 cuts) and just give maybe 10kg per cow and let them eat straw until the next morning.
 
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Electricfencer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Cotswolds
Iv just cut silage 10 days earlier for winter housed ewes, quality should be better and less bales to make (can bulk it out with poor hls hay or straw), I get the field back earlier for grazing weaned lambs on as well.
 

JMTHORNLEY

Member
Location
Glossop
This is the year to make quality not quantity. If you've a surplus of straw your already winning as that will be helish expensive again this year. I feed best quality silage when bringing in to keep body condition up and keep them milking hard, no corn used here for weanlings and fed best Red Clover silage as soon as they come in with mothers. Weaned at 9 months and usually 400-450kgs at weaning. They then go onto straw and minerals / molasses for the fatter cows and poorer quality second cut hayledge for the thinner beasts.

They do very well like that and my thinking is no matter what prices are doing making out the field is a damn sight cheaper than having to supplement shite quality grub with corn or the like.

Mow now if you can 1 or 2 seed heads showing is a decent indicator of good D value while still retaining a bit of poke but will spend enough time in the gut and not flying out of them (y)
 

capfits

Member
If there is a year for quality it is this one.
On slats here, with a pretty small trough ie have to feed twice a day using a mixer wagon.
Better quality last year, higher dry matter.
Young stock unsurprisingly flew
And cow condition was higher earlier than normal and able to cut back, almost able to get down to once a day, ironically couldn't with the young stock.
Bonus was also less slurry.
An overhang from last year also helps
 

Davy_g

Member
Location
Co Down
I’m not changing anything I have done any other year. Tried and tested over many years of learning on my farm.
Sowed no fertiliser on silage ground but I have done that before on occasion. Hope not to too as much as sone other years, much ado find it therapeutic making the fields look nice it will be on an as needed basis.
Silage just cut on Friday night, think it will be baked today. Don’t want power as it’s for dry cows. Good balance of bulk and reasonable quality. As long as it’s dry, can you make bales too dry? No is my opinion if you wrap & stack them correctly.
 
I’m not changing anything I have done any other year. Tried and tested over many years of learning on my farm.
Sowed no fertiliser on silage ground but I have done that before on occasion. Hope not to too as much as sone other years, much ado find it therapeutic making the fields look nice it will be on an as needed basis.
Silage just cut on Friday night, think it will be baked today. Don’t want power as it’s for dry cows. Good balance of bulk and reasonable quality. As long as it’s dry, can you make bales too dry? No is my opinion if you wrap & stack them correctly.
I would still class you as early and baling some decent stuff. A few farms bale late august dead stalks and new growth through that has had 100 units in may and been left to die off and re grow. They take pleasure in telling me they have had 15 bales to acre. 75% of which is pure shite
 

digger64

Member
I would still class you as early and baling some decent stuff. A few farms bale late august dead stalks and new growth through that has had 100 units in may and been left to die off and re grow. They take pleasure in telling me they have had 15 bales to acre. 75% of which is pure shite
Depends what you want/need and what type of cows you have , some of the ideas on here seem awfully complicated and machinery /labour dependant . Making dairy cow silage for the priviledge
of pulling calves , needing a keenan/telehandler/purpose built feed fence house and slurry to cart about etc to and having to buy in straw to mix - to me doesnt appeal or look viable in any way for me .
Putting a few bales out 3 times a week on field where stacked ,no straw , a bit of ridley fencing,keeping a few more cows and putting on a swanndri sometimes and going to bed at night seems a better bet financially and personally - although I do appreciate not everyone can do this ,I'm not sure why dry cows benefit from 10 -12 ME silage even inside ?
I need to make or buy 1000 bales (350 need to be better for heifers / calves but still fibrous )
the other 650 for dry cows quantity is nearly everything within reason , with todays fert prices is 2nd cut really worth it ?
 

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HSENI names new farm safety champions

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

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The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) alongside the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP), has named new farm safety champions and commended the outstanding work on farm safety that has been carried out in the farming community in the last 20 years.

Two of these champions are Malcom Downey, retired principal inspector for the Agri/Food team in HSENI and Harry Sinclair, current chair of the Farm Safety Partnership and former president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU).

Improving farm safety is the key aim of HSENI’s and the FSP’s work and...
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