After a terrific weekend of weather, a fair dent has been put into the first cut silage harvest season.
However, there are only so many silage outfits in the country, so not all farmers were able to cut their silage.
The bad news is that the coming week will be more unsettled, but there could be good opportunities to get silage done on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Monday morning will be largely dry - passing showers will move down from the north as the day continues. The south will escape the rain until late afternoon.
Tuesday will be mostly dry, except in the northern half of the country, which will be wet. There will be some showers elsewhere, but rainfall amounts are set to be low and most places will be dry.
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday are forecasted to be very dry everywhere, so there could be a good opportunity to get silage done over these days.
Even farmers in the south can take a chance and cut silage on Tuesday and pick it up on Wednesday.
Take a chance
Sometimes you need to take a chance with silage in order to get it done. Waiting for the perfect conditions might never happen and by then the grass will have gone to seed so the sugar level and subsequent silage quality will be lower.
Remember, the basics of good silage is dry grass, cut with a high sugar content (more than 3%) and ensiled in a well-sealed pit.
In terms of wilting, leaving the grass on the ground in 10ft swarths provides the best wilt without tedding. Grass doesn’t dry to any great extent in larger swarths.
Additives are not necessary in most situations, unless sugar levels are below 2% and weather is poor. In such situations, acids and molasses are better than innoculants.