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Update August - September 2019

Philip Creighton, Animal and Grassland Research and Innovation Centre, Teagasc Athenry, Co Galway.

Lamb growth rates for the past month have been in the region of 140g/day (grass only) to 161g/day (grass + white clover), with 29% of lambs drafted from grass only groups and 35% of lambs drafted from grass + white clover groups up to mid-August. Average liveweight for lambs drafted to date was 45.2 kg with average carcase weight 19.7 kg. This represents an average kill out percentage of 44%. While grass growth rates have been good averaging 75kg DM/ha/day for July and August, grass dry matter content has reduced greatly in the last few weeks which may be impacting on lamb performance. To date 85% of the total N allowance for both the high (145kgN/ha) and low (90kgN/ha) N treatments has been spread. The final round of Nitrogen will be applied in late August to ensure adequate grass growth for the Autumn. We took advantage of the good grass growth conditions in July to take out approximately 15% of each of the farmlets for reseeding. This will hopefully be back available for grazing by late September in time for mating and finishing lambs.