Over or underestimated the feeding value of silage because of a lack of test results is costing Irish farmers money according to a latest advisory update from Teagasc.

It says every year literally millions of tons of silage are made in this country.

How many farmers, however, know the estimated quality and protein of the silage they have made?

According to Teagasc not enough is the answer.

“A typical silage pit can have over €10,000 worth of feed in it. Surely it is worth spending €25 on a silage test to check its feeding value – even if it is only to see if you need to do something different next year,” Teagasc says.

For example, it cites 50 weanlings or stores underperforming by only 0.1kg per day (due to inadequate meal feeding rates) will leave a beef farmer with 750kg less liveweight coming out of the shed after a five-month winter.

How much is this worth?