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John Dunne July/August update



  • Reacting to the negative effects of drought
  • Last round of fertiliser
  • Forage Rape



Animal Nutrition

Animal Nutrition

  • Early Housing of forward stores
  • Great yield of barley
  • Store cattle weighed


The lack of rainfall in July and August has reduced growth rates to just 14kgsDM/ha/day. Average farm covers has fallen to below 500kgs/ha with just 10 days ahead of grazing. The following decisions were made to reduce grass demand:

  1. Cull cows and cattle close to 30 months have been housed in August
  2. Forward HEX/AA cattle will also be housed and finished out of the shed at 20-22 months of age.
  3. Cows calved in February or with weanlings over 280kgs will be weaned and the cows will be housed
  4. 36 replacement heifers have been brought home from Rathfeston in order to reduce demand there on the outfarm
  5. 12 ton of 18.6.12 + S was applied in the last week of August (1 bag/acre) before the rain arrived.
  6. If grass growth doesn’t improve by the first week in September more stock will need to be housed- that decision will be taken in early September.
  7. The reseeded will get 20 units of Protected urea plus watery slurry immediately.
  8. Round bales of silage is been offered to the remaining stock in Rathfeston and stock are been restricted to 2 paddocks to allow grass to build up.


Low grass covers- 31/08/2022

Once the barley was cut , forage rape was immediately sown . The variety chose was Mosa and was sown at a rate of 6.5kgs/ha with 2 bags of 18.6.12/acre. More nitrogen will be applied post emergence , This crop will be grazed by the weanlings in 3 months time.

Animal Nutrition

The dairy bred calves are getting 1kg/head/day  of homemade ration. The stock that were housed in August due to the drought are on a  rolled barley ration / soyabean/beet pulp/molasses and minerals . 4 ton is made at a time to the following specification

  • 3 ton of rolled barley
  • 5ton of beet pulp
  • 3ton of soya
  • 2ton of molasses
  • Plus minerals.

The culls cows and cattle targeted for finishing in 3 months are currently eating 5kgs/head/day

20 acres of barley was cut in mid August in perfect conditions. This yield was 3ton/acre with a moisture content of 15.5%. The harvest came in 2 weeks earlier than 2021. In the current climate of rising meal costs –there is great security in having 60ton of barley stored on farm.

All 110 heifers born in spring 2021 were on July 27th. The average weight was 408kgs giving an ADG of 0.77kgs. The bullocks will be weighed in the first week in September.