This time of year, just a few weeks before first-cut silage would be in full swing, some farmers would have plans to put in a silage slab.

Generally, it’s usually a race against time to get a silage slab completed in time around now, with just how busy both farmers and building contractors are.

However, Agriland spoke to a building contractor who said that he has received fewer enquiries this year related to silage slabs in account of the rise in building material costs.

Speaking to Agriland, the building contractor said: “Since last year, there has been a massive increase in price for both concrete and steel.

“Concrete itself has jumped €20/m on last year and depending on strength, it could even be more.

“As for the reinforced steel, prices have increased 30% on last year.

“Labour hasn’t increased that much really, just enough to cover fuel increases. But, there has been a massive slow down in enquiries for silage pits from last year.

“In terms of a silage slab, you would be using 40N, which is very strong concrete which has seen an increase in price of €85/m to over €100/m [plus VAT].

“While the steel caging has gone up €25/ft from €15-18/ft on last year.

“So to give a rough idea overall, say for 100X60ft silage slab, it would have cost €13,000 all in, while this year, you’re talking €18,000. Those figures include, digging out of the site, hardcore, concrete, steel and labour costs.”