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Efficient pasture-based dairy farming is a balance between managing the pasture for maximum yield and managing the cow to maximize milk solids, production and reproduction. The Irish climate, while temperate, is highly seasonal. Grass growth follows a similar seasonal pattern with peak growth occurring in early summer.

Teagasc has developed a number of tools for use by farmers to manage grass quality and yield throughout the grazing season.

These tools are:

Assessing  grass visually takes experience. The following PDF contains pictures of different stages of grass cover normally available for dairy cows (Taken from Teagasc Dairy Manual page 304):