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Silage Slab

  • 09-11-2011 8:07pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 402 ✭✭ J DEERE


    Thinking of putting down a silage slab, just wondering if ye think it would be worth it. Making 4-500 bales a year, all stacked on hardcore. We find the bales fierce handy, its easy to budget silage and theres very little waste, usually top quality stuff. Only downside is the time it takes to draw them home and the wear and tear on the tractor. Its normally a 3 mile draw.

    What size of a clamp would be needed for say 30-40 acres of stuff? Anyone any advice on putting down a slab and how ye find find it vs bales? Thanks


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 343 ✭✭ manjou


    I make 450 bales every year also.Was tempted to put in pit but when you factor in repayments on pit over ten years it worked out dearer to make the pit.Also find i dont have to have all the land ready to cut at same time so i can get cows out earlier and if grass is scarse i can graze some silage ground again and cut it later.I can also make hay or later silage of lesser quality a bit later to feed to sucklers to keep calf size down.


  • Registered Users Posts: 181 ✭✭ mattthetrasher


    deere john i have a pit and thinking of making all bales next year for versatility and with fert prices high next year bales would control grass quality and do silage in one go plus quality is so much better


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,401 ✭✭✭ reilig


    J DEERE wrote: »
    Thinking of putting down a silage slab, just wondering if ye think it would be worth it. Making 4-500 bales a year, all stacked on hardcore. We find the bales fierce handy, its easy to budget silage and theres very little waste, usually top quality stuff. Only downside is the time it takes to draw them home and the wear and tear on the tractor. Its normally a 3 mile draw.

    What size of a clamp would be needed for say 30-40 acres of stuff? Anyone any advice on putting down a slab and how ye find find it vs bales? Thanks

    Instead of spending €10k to €15k on a silage slab, why not spend €2k to €3k on bale handling equipment. I make 700 - 800 bales per year, some with that distance of a draw. I have a low bale trailer which can bring 12 at a time. I wrap them close to the stacking area and have a double bale carrier for tipping them up. Very little wear and tear on the tractor!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,509 ✭✭✭ Suckler


    reilig wrote: »
    Instead of spending €10k to €15k on a silage slab, why not spend €2k to €3k on bale handling equipment. I make 700 - 800 bales per year, some with that distance of a draw. I have a low bale trailer which can bring 12 at a time. I wrap them close to the stacking area and have a double bale carrier for tipping them up. Very little wear and tear on the tractor!!

    +1 Some fodder for thought there.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,174 ✭✭✭✭ Muckit


    Are you allowed to stack bales 2-3 high on hardcore?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 402 ✭✭ J DEERE


    2 high as far as I know, after that ya have to worry about run off. Some lads around here stack 3 and 4 high though


  • Registered Users Posts: 302 ✭✭ gav86


    Just about bales, stacked in a field or in the farmyard, they need to be over 20 meters from any watercourse unless there is effluent collection available or you could be done for Cross Compliance.. There's no regulation about how high you can stack them unless you are in REPS afaik


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,551 ✭✭✭ keep going


    i think the big advantage of pit is less work in feeding out and easy to store stuff from one year to the next but its not actually much cheaper especially as most fellas wouldnt allow a 5e an acre in plastic.the other thing with bales the contractor moves all the grass where as usally the farmer moves the bales.a slab roughly 45 ft by 90 should hold 40+acres depending on the loader driver:rolleyes:2 walls are a big help or alternatively dig into a hill


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,363 Juniorhurler


    keep going wrote: »
    i think the big advantage of pit is less work in feeding out and easy to store stuff from one year to the next but its not actually much cheaper especially as most fellas wouldnt allow a 5e an acre in plastic.the other thing with bales the contractor moves all the grass where as usally the farmer moves the bales.a slab roughly 45 ft by 90 should hold 40+acres depending on the loader driver:rolleyes:2 walls are a big help or alternatively dig into a hill

    I have a slab and as a part time farmer these are the 2 reasons I do. I just don't have the time to draw bales or be opening them of an evening. I know the bale shear will handle the opening now.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,174 ✭✭✭✭ Muckit


    There's definitely pros and cons for both pit or bales. I think there's benefits to a farmer making both.

    Comparing the cost of building a silage slab to the cost of round bale handling equipment doesn't make sense to me.

    Its horses for courses and what suits each farmer, his farm system and land type best.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,401 ✭✭✭ reilig


    Muckit wrote: »
    .

    Comparing the cost of building a silage slab to the cost of round bale handling equipment doesn't make sense to me.

    But the OP has said that he finds bales handy. The only reason that he has the idea of building the slab is because he finds so many bales difficult to handle. What would be the sense in spending a ball of money on a slab if he could just invest a fraction of it into bale handling equipment which would save the time that he spends drawing the bales in and wear and tear on the tractor and allow him to continue to use the silage system that he already finds handy?


  • Registered Users Posts: 402 ✭✭ J DEERE


    reilig wrote: »
    But the OP has said that he finds bales handy. The only reason that he has the idea of building the slab is because he finds so many bales difficult to handle. What would be the sense in spending a ball of money on a slab if he could just invest a fraction of it into bale handling equipment which would save the time that he spends drawing the bales in and wear and tear on the tractor and allow him to continue to use the silage system that he already finds handy?

    Yea its purely labour saving. Its the idea of having about 80% of my silage in in a few hours as opposed to drawing bales for 3 or 4 days at a time. But once they are in, they suit down to the ground. For the price of a slab, Id easily scale up to a 120hp tractor and a bigger trailer and have money left over. I think even hiring in a lad to draw with me at the time wud be a good option too.

    My neighbour is in same situation as me, only difference is hes actually making the leap and putting in the slab this year. Suppose the wise thing wud be to wait a couple of years to see how he gets on.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,174 ✭✭✭✭ Muckit


    reilig wrote: »
    But the OP has said that he finds bales handy. The only reason that he has the idea of building the slab is because he finds so many bales difficult to handle. What would be the sense in spending a ball of money on a slab if he could just invest a fraction of it into bale handling equipment which would save the time that he spends drawing the bales in and wear and tear on the tractor and allow him to continue to use the silage system that he already finds handy?

    True enough Reilig. Just reread the original post. And your right, the lower costs can be kept, the better.

    However, it's a similar argument to saying you could outwinter all your stock instead of building a slatted shed (rules and regs aside).... or indeed using a wheel barrow and transport box instead of a quad and shiny new galvanised trailer!! :D:D:D:D

    I'm just picturing 450 bales sitting in the field and trying to draw them in 6 or 8 at a time. Then try and get in and take them out of a stack on hardcore during the winter after a few weeks of torental downpours.

    Surely a concrete slab would benefit the handling and storage of silage bales also and save 'wear and tear' on the poor tractor and driver?:p


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,025 Tipp Man


    Why not get the contractor to bring the bales in?

    No work involved then. contractor brings all our bales in


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 733 jeff greene


    If bales suit you, either consider a contrator or buy a few trailers. Every bale contractor here offers drawing too, it goes hand in hand, is that not the case everywhere? I can draw 300 bales in a day(long summers day) with two 14 bale trailers and loader with a 2-4 mile draw.

    Proper pit management requires labour too, effluent control, folding back plastic, wet dirty tyres, shear grab maintenance, removing waste if there's any etc.


  • Registered Users Posts: 353 ✭✭ trg


    That doesnt happen down our way at all, good idea though. We have bales between 3 & 6 miles away from farm and the father gives most of his winter drawing them home 3 at a time, the saving in diesel alone would nearly cover the cost!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,410 bbam


    Tipp Man wrote: »
    contractor brings all our bales in

    Ours offers each year... €1 a bale, but the fields are round the yard..


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