Soaring fertiliser costs are likely to increase the cost of silage by as much as 28% next season, according to Irish Farmers Journal analysis.

The analysis also shows that reducing fertiliser by 30% will lead to a 21% reduction in silage yield and further increases the cost per kilo of silage by 9%.

If fertiliser is in scarce supply next spring, farmers would be better off spreading the recommended rates on a smaller acreage and catch up on silage quantity later in the year by taking a larger second or third cut, when fertiliser prices and supply should have recovered.

The value of slurry has doubled based on current fertiliser values and so making more use of slurry will be a key tool for all farmers.

Each 1,000 gallons of slurry is equivalent to nine units/ac of nitrogen, five units/ac of phosphorus and 32 units/ac of potash.