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Headway with grazing on Teagasc/Tirlán Future Farms

Headway with grazing on Teagasc/Tirlán Future Farms

Sandra Hayes, co-ordinator of the Teagasc/Tirlán Future Farm Programme, outlines the progress farmers are making with grazing in the most recent Teagasc/Tirlan Future Farm Update.

The monitor farms are making great headway with getting, on average, 33% of the milking platform grazed over the month of February. All will have 30-40% grazed by the end of February. This is important, as it is this grass regrowth that will be available to the cows in early April.

This ground had received 16-20 units of protected urea or 2,000-2,500 gallons of slurry per acre initially. As paddocks are being grazed off, the farms have the opportunity to follow up with fertiliser or slurry and to get ready for any applications of nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P) and potassium (K) for the next round.

Targeted paddocks for grazing have been wet ground, last year’s new reseeds and ones with a large percentage of clover. It is also a great chance to graze out heavy covers to allow light back into the base of the sward.

On our farm visits this last two weeks, we have been joined by Tirlán ASSAP advisor TJ Phelan who has assessed the dirty water from yards and seen how the farms have put works into place to reduce this waste water. It is a good time of year to re-assess this, as the yard is at its busiest and it’s easier to see where the most pressure is coming from. Keeping the front of the silage pit clean is a great help.

Table 1: Grassland performance, percentage calved and meal feeding levels on Teagasc/Tirlán Future Farms (week of February 27th)


*winter milk


Average Farm Cover

(kg DM/ha)

Growth rate


% Calved% Grazed



Donal Kavanagh* Wicklow 618 7 60 35 4
Francis Nolan Kilkenny 1,029 12 70 30 5
Jack Kearney Cork 927 20 78 33 4
John Ryan Tipperary 858 28 75 29 4
Kevin Murphy Wexford 826 20 74 40 5
Mullen Farm* Meath 1,008 14 61 31 5.5
Shane Fitzgerald Waterford 866 12 60 30 4
Shay Ryan Wexford 717 29 70 40 4
Steven Fitzgerald Waterford 740 4 75 30 4
Tom Fennelly Laois 779 5 68 31 3
Average   837 15 69 33 4.3
Average 22nd February   1,024 11 66 17 4

 For more information on the Teagasc/Tirlán Future Farm Programme, click here.

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