5 APRIL 1957, Page 36

GRASS HARVEST There has been a great increase in silage-making

in Wales, it is reported. This is not by any means a new agricultural process. Silage towers are, in fact, almost as much part of the rural landscape in some places as Dutch barns and wind pumps. In Wales, however, the use of this method of grass harvesting is comparatively recent in its wider application. Its popularity is understandable, particularly in parts where the weather is uncertain and a hay crop means protracted labour. Hay that has to be turned and dried over and over again soon loses its nutri- tional value and is reduced to mere fibre. The attrac- tion of silage-making (involving the compressing of grass to which molasses is sometimes added) is that it can be carried out in a shorter time, and the aftergrowth, too, can sometimes be cropped for the same purpose. if there is a debit side it might be in the loss of cover for ground-nesting birds such as the partridge, which is already affected by earlier hay-making by the use of grass driers. The benefits of the process outweigh such minor details. Two men can make silage and, it may be whispered, feed- ing it to cows makes turnip-flavoured milk much less likely than it was in the bad old days.