Spring silage is a great way to bank a genuine pasture surplus at this time of the year, and achieving a high ME result is easy - just don’t let your grass get too long.
The first step is to tee up your contractor (before your neighbour does!) and plan to cut early.
Lighter, early crops of silage re-grow quality leafy feed quickly, so these paddocks are ready for grazing fast in case conditions change and you need the feed.
Light crops also produce silage with much better feed quality.
If you want high ME grass silage, cut pastures before they exceed 4000 kg DM/ha and take them down to grazing height (i.e. 1500 kg DM/ha).
Letting grass get longer before making silage (>4000 kg DM/ha) means it starts to lose feed quality. Equally important, it also weakens pastures and puts pressure on clovers, because clover plants and young daughter ryegrass tillers get shaded out and die.
Always remember to apply fertiliser after cutting silage, to replace the nutrients you have just removed and encourage vigorous healthy pasture re-growth.