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Quantifying the impact of recent growth rates on 1st cut silage crops

On this week’s episode of The Dairy Edge, dairy specialist James Dunne joins Emma-Louise Coffey to quantify the impact of recent growth rates on 1st cut silage crops.

James explains that growth rates in Moorepark and Ballyhaise to 20th April this year are similar to the 10-year average.  However, from 20th April to 10th May, growth rates were 20kg and 10kg lower in Moorepark and Ballyhaise respectively.  James reassures us that the difference in growth rates can be made up in a few short days in mid to late-May where conditions allow.

James anticipates that 1st cut yield may be 7-8% behind normal but emphasises that farmers should continue with their normal cutting date of mid to late May in order to preserve silage quality and move to growing the 2nd crop of silage.

He encourages all farmers to complete a winter feed budget as early as possible to quantify the winter feed quantity and quality requirements and to quantify the feed available following 1st cut and 2nd cut.

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For more episodes from the Dairy Edge podcast go to the show page at: www.teagasc.ie/thedairyedge