Wanted: a new method of ensilage.

Toastfighter

Well-Known Member
Thought I'd fly a kite here.

There are two basic methods of silage production in Ireland, pit and bale. There are problems and advantages to each, but whichever is used it tends to be contractors that are left to do the job. Fundamentally the interests of the contractor and farmer are at odds, and I have a growing feeling that it is the contracting tale that is often wagging the farming dog. I also think that in many cases the job could be done better if there wasn't the rush.

One way to break this impasse would be to create a new grass preservation system that had the flexibility of round bales and the ease of use of a pit. The tower silo comes close but when it goes wrong it can go badly wrong. Zero grazing is also an alternative that reduces the reliance on preserved fodder. Loading bales into a sealed shed which is then filled with an inert gas would be one idea, but the shed has to be sealed well and remain so. Every time bales are added or removed the process of sealing and flushing would have to be repeated.

The overall idea would be to bring back control of the silage making to the farmer who can then do the job at a time and a workrate best suited to themselves.

Any other ideas?
 

muckymanor

Well-Known Member
That sort of idea was grand in the 50s. We know so much more about the feed value of grass now. Grass should not be ensiled when it suits the farmer but rather ensiled when it suits the grass. Because of the geography of this country, most of the grass is ready within the same 2 weeks. Therefore we need contractors who can work fast and move huge amounts of grass in a short time. I don't think the contractors tail wags the dog but instead the weather does.
 

Toastfighter

Well-Known Member
That sort of idea was grand in the 50s. We know so much more about the feed value of grass now. Grass should not be ensiled when it suits the farmer but rather ensiled when it suits the grass. Because of the geography of this country, most of the grass is ready within the same 2 weeks. Therefore we need contractors who can work fast and move huge amounts of grass in a short time. I don't think the contractors tail wags the dog but instead the weather does.

This is true, but there is more than one cut and seed mixtures will effect the optimum cutting time, long term swards with late heading perennials will be later than high yielding short lived Italian based types. There is little incentive to the grower to fine tune his reseeds if the grass is all going to be cut at the same time. Tillage farmers will mix their varieties and crop types to spread the harvest window, stock farmers don't have much choice.
 

AYF

Well-Known Member
I suppose lots of small pits and a small wagon is the way for a smaller farmer wanting ease of use?
I say smaller pits as you could fill a pit and leave it rather than re opening and closing which is hard work and harmfull to the silage.
 

headcase

Very Senior Member
I suppose lots of small pits and a small wagon is the way for a smaller farmer wanting ease of use?
I say smaller pits as you could fill a pit and leave it rather than re opening and closing which is hard work and harmfull to the silage.
Just a few long pits and fill them properly with a wedge style so you only need to take the tyres of the ramp
 

headcase

Very Senior Member
Thought I'd fly a kite here.

There are two basic methods of silage production in Ireland, pit and bale. There are problems and advantages to each, but whichever is used it tends to be contractors that are left to do the job. Fundamentally the interests of the contractor and farmer are at odds, and I have a growing feeling that it is the contracting tale that is often wagging the farming dog. I also think that in many cases the job could be done better if there wasn't the rush.

One way to break this impasse would be to create a new grass preservation system that had the flexibility of round bales and the ease of use of a pit. The tower silo comes close but when it goes wrong it can go badly wrong. Zero grazing is also an alternative that reduces the reliance on preserved fodder. Loading bales into a sealed shed which is then filled with an inert gas would be one idea, but the shed has to be sealed well and remain so. Every time bales are added or removed the process of sealing and flushing would have to be repeated.

The overall idea would be to bring back control of the silage making to the farmer who can then do the job at a time and a workrate best suited to themselves.

Any other ideas?
Do your own!!:lol:
 

johndeere6920s

Well-Known Member
This drives me nuts if its so timing dependant let the contractor know because obviously you know in advance when you want it cut.
If you are adamant it has to be done on a certain day ring a week before.
I know 90% of lads doing there own silage it actually usually ends up the worst
 

headcase

Very Senior Member
This drives me nuts if its so timing dependant let the contractor know because obviously you know in advance when you want it cut.
If you are adamant it has to be done on a certain day ring a week before.
I know 90% of lads doing there own silage it actually usually ends up the worst
I tell all my customers to ring a week to 10 days before they ready.
I dont want to know the mowers in the field can i come
 

Blackwater boy

Moderator
You still have to get it from the field to the yard so there lies the problem.... Unless you bring the animals to the grass then there is no other way..... Be it a bale or a pit or a shed or a vacuum packed bag or whatever you still have to draw it in.....
 

Peter

Well-Known Member
I suppose lots of small pits and a small wagon is the way for a smaller farmer wanting ease of use?
I say smaller pits as you could fill a pit and leave it rather than re opening and closing which is hard work and harmfull to the silage.

I think that there's far too much emphasis put on the machinery used to cut the crop over the storage of the crop. I see grass been put into yards that were built in mind of storing a 25 acre crop 30 years ago that theres twice the amount of grass been drawn into today with machinery three times as big three times faster.


Hay????????????????

Nooooooooooo :speechless::speechless::speechless:
 

Claas Grass

Well-Known Member
I think that there's far too much emphasis put on the machinery used to cut the crop over the storage of the crop. I see grass been put into yards that were built in mind of storing a 25 acre crop 30 years ago that theres twice the amount of grass been drawn into today with machinery three times as big three times faster.

There is the main problem with silage in Ireland, some the most backwards pits in the world, lads love having L shaped pits up against sheds in the middle of yards having to turn 90 degrees with the loader and never think to jump in their 150hp tractor and maybe roll away the pit for a while where there’s room for two. We did two pits this year that the farmer built onto over the winter, both went for narrow L shaped pits where the loader can’t even turn, one is up against a shed so you can’t get in to roll it, I can’t figure out why they don’t ask the contractor what they think would be the best way to modify their pits rather than doing these brain dead modifications.
 

Mf240

Well-Known Member
I suppose you gave to find Balance.

I personally find the bales handy when your cutting different bits and pieces. I try to make some nice leafy stuff for milking cows and stronger stuff for drys.

I find if ya don't stress out about exact times and give contractor plenty of notice things usually fall into place.

Some lads lose their minds once they have grass cut. I think there should be a helpine number on the boxes of plastic, that they could contact for support.
 

Peter

Well-Known Member
There is the main problem with silage in Ireland, some the most backwards pits in the world, lads love having L shaped pits up against sheds in the middle of yards having to turn 90 degrees with the loader and never think to jump in their 150hp tractor and maybe roll away the pit for a while where there’s room for two. We did two pits this year that the farmer built onto over the winter, both went for narrow L shaped pits where the loader can’t even turn, one is up against a shed so you can’t get in to roll it, I can’t figure out why they don’t ask the contractor what they think would be the best way to modify their pits rather than doing these brain dead modifications.


Here's a delightful looking one.

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