The latest current and up to date advice
- Multi Species Swards
- Silage Pits & Effluent Management
- Incorporate Clover - Win Win Solution to Economic & Environmental Sustainability
Climate Actions for July
- Use protected urea – it's cheaper than CAN
- Time for Lime
- Don’t forget sulphur – little and often
- Reduce nitrogen on grass clover swards
- Have you booked a milk recording?
- Consider weighing calves & yearlings to monitor performance since turnout
Don’t leave all your liming til the end of the year, weather conditions may not allow you to get it out.
Once fields have been grazed-off and grass covers are low, it is an ideal time to apply lime. Identify blocks of land that require lime, for example this could require ordering a load of lime (20t) after each grazing rotation to correct soil pH (covers approx. 10 ac @ 2t/ac lime application rate). Aim to avoid high grass covers > 800kg DM/ha.
For further details on liming, check out this factsheet https://www.teagasc.ie/media/website/news/daily/pdfs/The-Facts-on-Applying-Lime.pdf
Sulphur (S) is an important nutrient for grassland production, and is closely associated with nitrogen uptake and efficiency. If there is a sulphur deficiency present it will decrease the nitrogen use efficiency and reduce yield. As the rate of nitrogen fertiliser applied increases the response to sulphur fertiliser also increases, therefore we must pay particular attention to sulphur requirements on heavily stocked farms and when fertilising silage crops. In short - higher yielding crops require greater levels of S nutrition to maintain optimum yield, protein content and high nitrogen use efficiency.
If clover is a key player on your farm, you must also pay particular attention, as sulphur plays a major role in nodule formation and thus nitrogen fixation in all legume plants.
On sulphur deficient soils
- Apply 20 kg/ha or 16 units/acre of sulphur per year for grazed swards on a little and often approach starting in early spring.
- For silage swards apply 20 kg/ha or 16 units/acre of sulphur per cut on closing.
Like everything in life you can have too much of a good thing. Balance is important in nutrients; an oversupply of sulphur can depress the uptake of selenium and reduce absorption of Copper by animals. So do not over apply sulphur, if in doubt veer on the side of caution and test your herbage.
Fertiliser Requirements Mid Season
Chemical N fertiliser may be reduced on swards with good white clover content (≥ 25%). The table below provides a guide to the potential to reducing chemical N application where there is a high proportion of clover in the sward. As a rule of thumb, it is half the normal application rate.
This year is a very important one for dairy farmers in dealing for the new veterinary medicines legislation. This legislation will mean that dairy farmers will need to change how they use antibiotics, and antibiotics can no longer be used as a preventative measure, i.e., when drying off uninfected cows. Ultimately, this new legislation is about protecting antibiotics and doing all that we can to make sure they remain effective in humans. If you are not milk recording, you need to get started. Milk recording is the best way of identifying cows that need antibiotic treatment at drying off. The more information you can gather on each cow during the lactation, the better prepared you will be for Autumn 2022 and drying off.
It's never too late in the year to start!
It’s a good time of year to weigh animals on your farm and to get an idea of how animals are performing and that they are on target for re-housing or sale. The Teagasc Beef Production Systems Guideline is a good guide to where animals need to be in terms of weight, depending on the system you are in.
Make sure your scales is properly calibrated. Weigh at the same time of the day every time. Avoid doing weighings too close together – aim for a gap of 2 months between weighings.
For guidelines on the target weight of animals in different systems. Check out this beef production systems guidelines.