We are in a fairly unique situation where we are still feeding silage when we would normally be preparing silage ground through applying fertiliser and slurry.

Nevertheless, the eye can’t be taken off the ball when it comes to prepping silage ground.

There is little surplus fodder in the form of bales or pit sitting in yards across the country, so every effort has to be made to replenish reserves.

The last time we had a spring so poor was 2018, with a massive drought to follow. There is the distinct possibility that second-cut silage could be hammered by dry weather, with fertiliser or slurry sitting on ground with no ability for it to be washed in.


If this is the case, then the focus really needs to turn to first-cut silage and the delicate balance of getting quality and a decent bulk early on.

There might be the option to cut some fields in early May and capitalise on good growth rates afterwards where silage ground has not been grazed.

If this is the case, the last thing you want is to apply excessive nitrogen (N) now and have to wait for it to leave grass before cutting.

The crude measurement of two units N/day being used up is a good rule to gauge fertiliser application around proposed cutting date.

Current grazing situation

Grazing is still a tricky affair, with stock either going back in or out depending on where you are in the country.

With the extremely wet spring we have had, the likelihood of a drought later in the summer is all too real. \ Brendan Lynch

A note I’m hearing from a lot of farmers is how hungry ground is looking at the minute, so fertiliser application needs to be prioritised as soon as ground conditions allow to maximise growth when it comes.

It’s laughable right now to think, but excess paddocks can be mown out in early May if required to control things. Grow the grass while you can and it will be utilised in some form, be it grazing or silage. It may all be required later in the year.