To ensure the results of a silage test are reliable, accurate silage sampling is important. This should only take place at least six weeks after ensiling.

When testing silage from a pit, a long silage core sampler should be used to sample a number of points from the surface of the pit.

If the pit is open, you can take approximately 12 samples across the face of the pit in a ‘W’ shape.

Samples should not come directly from the face of the pit where it has been exposed, so dig in a few inches to take the sample.

To sample baled silage, you will need to take a sample from a number of bales from the same cut, but you should not climb on to bales to take a sample.

Separate samples should be taken for first-cut and second-cut silage.

Top tips

  • Mix all the samples from one cut together and take out a representative sample weighing 0.5kg which is required for lab analysis.
  • Store the sample in a sealable bag like a plastic sandwich bag and make sure all the air is expelled from the bag before sealing it.
  • Store in the fridge if needed, but ideally get the sample to the laboratory on the same day it is sampled.
  • Using a permanent marker label the sample bag with your name, details of the sample and date of sampling.