The cost of making a round bale of silage this summer will be down marginally on 2023 as nitrogen, energy and wrap prices have fallen. However, to make a bale will still cost in the region of €29/bale to €32.50/bale, including VAT. Contractor costs have crept up slightly, but not by a lot.

Our analysis is based on spreading 80 units of artificial nitrogen per acre, purchased at €510/t and slurry applied at 2,500 gallons per acre. Assuming an average first-cut yield of nine bales per acre, fertiliser and slurry costs come to €10.20/bale. The cost to mow, rake, bale, wrap and stack is around €18/bale.

High-priced rented or leased land will make the cost per bale even higher and usual regional variations apply.