There are two critical measures of winter feed – quantity and quality. In last week’s paper, we looked at the importance of completing a fodder budget for the upcoming winter.

Measuring stocks now and acting upon your results is a simple task compared with the hardship that comes with running short on feeding next spring.

Following on from that, inside this week’s Irish Farmers Journal, we look at the importance of taking silage samples to measure feed quality.

When planning diets for suckler stock this winter, you are effectively in the dark if you do not know your silage quality.


Recently, BETTER farm adviser Tommy Cox and I travelled to Donegal to take silage samples for Gerard and John Grieve. The father and son duo are running a herd of 40 suckler cows, a flock of ewes and have also adopted a dairy-calf-to-beef enterprise.

Bringing all male stock – both suckler and dairy – to beef requires a high usage of concentrates. By taking silage samples and accurately determining the quality of their silage, there is potentially scope to cut down on meal bills this winter.

Watch the video below to get the full story