This year, with high grain prices, we made a special effort to make as good a silage as possible. We also went to the trouble (and expense) of getting it fully analysed through Teagasc in one of the main accredited laboratories. We had taken three cuts - the third cut was very much an afterthought, on account of a good growing year as well as good ground conditions and periods of weather that allowed for good wilting. So, how did they turn out?

The first cut had a DMD of 73.9, according to the details that accompanied the analysis - this should allow a liveweight gain without any cereals of 0.5kg/day in the case of weanlings and 0.6 kg/day in the case of cattle being kept for beef. Whether silage alone even of this quality would finish dairy beef steers adequately, I have my doubts, but I can see ourselves cutting back on supplementation.