Virtual Sheep Week
Day 1 Grassland Management
On Monday the focus was on grassland management for sheep. If you missed anything on the day the webinar, publications and videos are all available below.
Monday’s webinar focused on current grassland research for sheep and grazing management strategies that can be applied at farm level.
The panel discussion was led by Damian Costello, Sheep specialist, Teagasc Athenry with panellists:
- Philip Creighton, Teagasc Athenry
- Micheál O’Leary, Teagasc Moorepark
- John O’Connell, Teagasc Sheep BETTER farmer Co Leitrim
Philip Creighton gave an update on the current grassland research work on-going in Athenry. He focused on the impact of incorporating white clover and other companion forages into sheep grazed swards. The productivity of pasture-based lamb production systems with special focus on the animal, environmental and economic impacts.
Micheal O’Leary went through the benefits and features of using Pasturebase Ireland, an online grassland management programme. Pasturebase allows farmers to keep track of grass growth per paddock, the number of grazings per paddock and the quantity of grass being consumed at each grazing. Grass measuring and budgeting highlights poor-performing paddocks and aids grazing management decisions.
John O’Connell is a Teagasc sheep BETTER farmer and current Sheep Grassland Farmer of the Year from Co Leitrim. John outlined how he has applied the latest grassland management technologies on his farm including: changes to grazing management practices, creating more paddocks, measuring grass and putting an autumn grazing plan in place.
Grassland Management Videos
Sub division of grazing allows greater control of where sheep are grazing. Helps improve utilisation & subsequent regrowth & improves animal performance through grazing leafier swards quicker. Sheep researcher Philip Creighton talks through top tips and key considerations when sub dividing fields
Tom Coll Drystock Advisor in Mohill gives some useful and information and advice on how to improve soil fertility
Incorporating white clover into sheep graze swards has the potential to reduce our reliance on chemical nitrogen fertiliser while also improving lamb performance. While establishing white clover is easiest through a full reseed over sowing of existing swards is also an option but before considering
Up to 50% of fatalities in agriculture involve a farm vehicle or machinery. In this short clip, Serena Gibbons talks through top tips to staying safe and making our farms safer when it comes to working with tractors
John O'Connell put a fencing infrastructure in place on his farm and from this has recognised the benefits of doing so such as managing his grass better and growing a better higher quality grass. This has a knock on effect on lamb performance by basically eliminating concentrate feeding and putting
John O'Connell was a little apprehensive when he began measuring grass in 2013 however he has since seen the benefits of doing so in terms of productivity on the farm. John uses a plate meter and PastureBase to measure and record and says he was confident with the process after just one season.
Current grazing systems research in Teagasc Athenry is focusing on the impact of incorporating white clover into sheep graze swards on the productivity of pasture based lamb based systems with a special emphasis on animal, environmental and economic impact of these systems. Philip Creighton & Lisa
- High feed value grass silage – the foundation to ewe productivity and profitability
- Grassland management targets to improve sward quality and animal performance
- Teagasc Sheep Autumn Closing Planner