The 2024 grass silage season kicked off last week with some dairy farmers operating multi-cut systems taking advantage of the dry weather.

While contractors are generally reluctant to commit to pricing until the season gets fully up and running, the expectation is that prices will be similar to 2023.

That would see light grass crops in a multi-cut system costing between £80 and £90/acre for mowing, raking, harvesting and haulage over a short distance. Adding in tedding and additional trailers to facilitate longer haulage would see prices rising to £100/acre and above. Contracting costs for single and two-cut systems are likely to range from £100/acre up to £120/acre for heavy crops cut in mid to late June.

The general consensus is that many non-dairy farmers will prioritise yield over quality this year, in an effort to replenish depleted silage stocks.


Farmers employing contractors to bale silage are also likely to see prices similar to last year.

Bale wrap is currently trading around £58 to £63 for 1,500m rolls for premium brand names, although there are budget brands available at prices closer to £55/roll.

Larger rolls with 1,800m of wrap will cost an additional £10 over the outlined price range, with bale net around £180 for 3,600m rolls.

Mowing and raking charges are projected at £25/acre, with the baler/wrap combination costing another £7 to £10/bale.

Adding in wrap and contractor margin, costs are likely to be in the region of £15/bale in the coming weeks.

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