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Climate Actions for June

Climate Actions for June

As we approach mid June it's time to check in with the Climate Actions for June, advised by the Teagasc Signpost team, and compare how we getting on with meeting the five actions set out for this month. The actions include; grassland fertiliser rates, grass clover swards, slurry and breeding advice

Climate Actions for June

Cut N fertiliser rate on grass clover swards

Fertiliser application on grass white clover swards

 N fertiliser application - kg N/ha

 Dairy SwardsBeef/Sheep swards - up to 2.0LU/ha
Early February  28 20

Mid march 28
April - 2nd rotation 28 20
Early May - 3rd rotation 9 12

Late May - 4th rotation 9
June - 5th rotation 9 12

Early July - 6th rotation 9
Late July - 7th rotation 9 12
August - 8th rotation 9
Mid September  12 14
Total15090

Post-sowing management - full reseed or over-sowing

  • Graze as soon as plants can withstand grazing
  • First grazing of a new reseed should be done at low covers (600-1,000kg DM/ha)
  • Light grazing by animals such as calves, weanlings or sheet
  • Graze swards tight for at least three grazings post sowing (4cm or less)
  • Don't close for silage in year one
  • Close later in the Autumn if possible

Apply N at 0.5-1.0 units per day for a growth rate range of 50-100 kg DM / ha / day on grass swards.

N for Dairy Farms - Nitrogen fertiliser application strategy for main grazing season

Month

(rotation)

April

(2nd)

May

(3rd)

May

(4th)

June

(5th)

July

(6th)

July

(7th)

August

(8th)

Mid

September

kg N/ha 28 22 18 17 17 17 17 29
unit N/ac 22 18 14 14 14 14 14 23

N for Beef Farms - Nitrogen fertiliser application strategy for main grazing season  

Stocking rate

Column 2

April

May

June

July

August

September

1 LU/ha kg N/ha 20 - 15 - - -
  units N/ac 16 - 12 - - -
               
2.5 LU/ha kg N/ha 27 27 27 27 27 29
  units N/ac 22 22 22 22 22 23

Fertiliser for Sheep Farms

Suggested N rates varied to increase response rates. Figures in brackets are 80% of suggested rates

Ewes/hakg/ha org NFebMarchAprilMayJuneJulyAugSeptTotal N rate grazing - kg/haTotal N rate incl silage - kg/ha
6 <80    13 (12)  13 (10)       13 (9)   39 (31)  66 (53) 
8 99    23 (18)  19 (15)       18 (14)   60 (47)  96 (77) 
10 118    25 (20)  20 (15)  15 (12)     21 (18)    81 (65)  126 (101) 
11 129    25 (20)  20 (15)  15 (12)   10 (8)  20 (16)   90 (72)  140 (112) 
12 138   25 (20)  23 (18)  15 (12)    16 (14)  23 (18)   102 (82)  156 (125) 
14 158   25 (20)  25 (20)   20 (16)    20 (16)  26 (20)    123 (98)  186 (149) 

If applying slurry for 2nd cut, remember to use LESS

Why?

  1. Increasing the nitrogen (N) availability of cattle slurry
  2. Replacement of P & K
  3. Accurate application of slurry nutrients with LESS and replace expensive chemical fertilisers
  4. Improved environmental and economic performance of slurry management

David Wall, Teagasc Johnstown Castle highlights the benefits of LESS.

Apply P & K to paddocks that have surplus bales or silage removed

Where surplus bales & 1st cut silage has been removed, it is important to return P & K to replenish what has been taken off.  

Every 1t DM (4-5 bales) removed from a paddock removes approx. 4 kg P & 30 kg K. If spread with LESS technology, we expect to have N-P-K of 9-5-30 per 1000 gallons applied. 

For example, a 2ha (5 acre) paddock that has 22 bales of silage removed from it requires 5000 gallons of slurry in total to replenish P & K in that paddock.

Check your fodder stocks after 1st cuts are harvested

  1. Establish how much silage you have in the yard by doing a fodder budget. Check out the Teagasc fodder budget worksheet in this factsheet Planning for Fodder Stocks (pdf)
  2. Do you have approx. 70% of silage requirements made?
  3. If not, make a plan for how the deficit is to be filled. Calculate the likely yield of silage from 2nd cut and removal of surplus bales.  Are there other options for forage available to you?  Concentrate feeds are likely to be very expensive next Autumn and may not be a viable option to fill the gap in silage stocks next winter.  Avoid leaving it til next Autumn to find a solution to a deficit, talk to your adviser today re your options.

 


Use Dairy Beef Index (DBI) when using beef bred AI bulls on your dairy cows.

The Dairy Beef Index (DBI) is a tool that ranks beef bulls based on their suitability for use on dairy females and to improve the beef quality of calves produced from the dairy herd.

Composition of DBI

The traits included in the DBI, along with their relative emphasis, are shown in Figure 1. For a trait to be included in the DBI it must be under genetic control and of importance to either the dairy or beef farmer. Traits currently included in the DBI relate to calving performance, carcass traits, feed intake and docility.

 

The relative emphasis of each trait included in the DBI is determined based on the costs and prices experienced by the dairy and beef farmer. Traits including calf health, age at slaughter and methane emissions are under investigation and may be included in the DBI in the future.

 To learn more about the Dairy Beef Index click The Dairy Beef Index- Understanding the DBI (pdf)


Monitor Breeding Performance to Ensure Fertility Targets are met

Checklist of the Main Reproductive TargetsTick Yes / No
Compact calving - 80% of cows in 60 days  
A 356-day calving interval  
Low culling rate (less than 5%) for barrenness  
Replacement heifers bred from maternally tested AI bulls  
5-6 calves / cow / lifetime  
0.95 calves reared / cow / year  
Less than 5% calf mortality by 28 days  
Maximum use of grazed grass  
  1. Avoid the situation where there are more that 5% of the herd being culled in the Autumn due to infertility. 
  2. Keeping track of breeding progress now to avoid a lot of cullings and / or calving rate slipping past 365 days
  3. Keep good records on cows bulling, this will help identify problems with:
  • Bull infertility
  • Cows needing veterinary intervention

Check out this useful guide to achieving high reproductive performance in the suckler herd. High-reproductive-performance-in-beef-herd (pdf)

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