Despite the rains of the weekend, the silage season is under way in most parts of the country and machines have been working away in the fields.

In this year’s baled silage special, James Maloney looks at getting the best from baled silage.

From grass management to wrapping up the bale, Alistair Chambers looks at the latest combi baler options on the market and gets some expert advice from experienced mechanics on avoiding the pitfalls of buying in the secondhand market.

There are also tips from the machinery team on the skills involved in making good baled silage.

We looked at the best ways to make a good bale, from the shape of the sward to the forward speed of the baler and everything in between. We looked at differing approaches and machines for handling bales to reduce the possibility of damage to the plastic and the precious fodder inside.

The storage of bales, the height that they can be stacked and how to defend them from attack from vermin and birds is also investigated. There is also an insight into what the end user of the bale wants to see when they open up the plastic and reveal the silage inside from Aidan Brennan.

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Laois contractor making silage bales and much more

Full coverage: silage 2017