Eddie Fogarty

Freshford, Co Kilkenny

“Silage crops are heavy after a good month of grass growth in May. We’re seeing a rush of farmers that would cut in June cut this week. [We have] a good mix of pit and bales, with about 10 bales per acre. We’re very happy with how it’s progressing, although drought conditions might be a concern in the coming weeks.”

Alex Butler

Mullingar, Co Westmeath

“We’re flying it with the good weather. If we get this week and a few days next week, we will wrap up first-cut silage. A consistent run of weather is great to get the bulk of the work done. Nitrogen in the grass isn’t as much of a concern with the good weather. Farmers are happy, crops are heavy and silage is really good quality. Drought could be a concern, but I think we’ll be alright for another 10 days without rain. Ground conditions are good – the ground isn’t too hard yet.”

Seamus Shelton

Kilmallock, Co Limerick

“We are very busy at the minute. Crops are heavy but the good weather is allowing silage to wither nicely. All of the silage we’ve cut is pit silage. Grass quality is high and [pit silage is] expected to be of good quality this year. If the dry spell continues post silage, grass regrowth could be an issue.”

Enda Sweeney

Ballinasloe, Co Galway

“We are mowing with the Big M cutting 30ft swards and leaving it on the ground for 24 hours. We are not doing much raking, but some farmers are wanting it raked. Nitrogen in the grass is a big issue, with the fine weather they are jumping in to get it cut, but fertiliser is only out six weeks in some cases. I am encouraging all my farmers to get the grass tested for nitrogen for fear they will have bad bales.”

Pat Walsh

Portlaoise, Co Laois

“We are really busy at pit silage and baling is only starting now this week, with some farmers getting about 10 bales to the acre. Quality is excellent at the minute but you wouldn’t want to be mowing any more than a day ahead. We are not tedding out, just raking it up, and that seems sufficient. Drought is a big fear at the minute; anyone who is mowing won’t have after-grass. The dairy farmers who made pits are not putting out any fertiliser or slurry – there is just no growth for it.”

Paddy Ryan

Thurles, Co Tipperary

“It’s all going well, we are doing pit silage. Farmers seem to be cutting earlier this year. We don’t normally finish first cut until around 20 June. The yield and dry matter are good. Anyone who had slurry out in the spring has great quality grass. We are doing nitrogen testing on the grass but it’s coming up grand, with no issues.”

Seamus Walsh

Cregmore, Co Galway

“Contractors have to be careful not to over-cut and stay around 24 hours ahead. We were tedding out last week but the quality is great, perfect conditions for gathering. Dry weather brings its own problems. Farmers and contractors should be on the same page when mowing to avoid it drying out too quick.”