How to Sample Silage


Silage (also hay and haylage) varies considerably between years, cuts, fields and even areas of the same field. Since these forages form the basis of most winter rations, it’s important to know whats in it so you can balance the diet appropriately with adequate energy and protein.



Collecting samples in the autumn before starting the winter feeding programme to produce an initial raion. Further samples can be taken throughout the winter as necessary.



Silage clamps are sampled with a special coring tool

Bales are sampled by hand. A minimum of three bales should be sampled from the centre of the bale where possible. These sampled should be bulked together and thoroughly mixed. A minimum of 0.5kg should be sent, in a well sealed polythene bag. It is important to remove as much as as possible before sealing. Please bring in to the surgery to be submitted on your behalf to an external lab.



Any areas which are mouldy or damaged in any way

Frozen areas

Providing samples on a Friday (for accuracy it’s best not to reach a lab at the weekend when closed as samples may dry out and therefore not be as accurate as possible)