The FCI has said that less than 10% of first-cut grass silage has been cut this year, while 90% of the work for first-cut silage had been done by the same stage in May 2020.

Inclement weather has had a knock-on effect on grass growth, with many farmers now putting pressure on contractors to harvest silage as the weather turns warmer.

FCI chief executive Michael Moroney has urged farmers to remain calm and assured them that contractors will get silage harvested but they can’t be subjected to harassment or incessant calls.

He pointed out there was also added pressure as the price of agricultural diesel had increased by 50% compared with 2020.

“Our analysis from silage contractor members, using the latest performance and economy measurement technology that is widely used in our sector, has already shown that wet grass harvesting will increase the volume of grass to be harvested as measured in tonnes per hectare or trailer loads per hectare.

“One early example of this is the measured fuel usage on a 25ha (60 acre) area was 2,400 litres last week, a 40% increase in fuel usage over the same area in 2020,” Moroney said.