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Recap on November Climate Actions

With the first week of December under our belt it's time to recap on Climate actions for November and see if we have measured up. This week is Hedgerow week - did you order your trees and hedging? It's a good time to soil sample, test silage and review liver fluke control if not already done.

Climate Actions for November

Review your parasite control plan for liver fluke going into the housing period

The performance related losses and economic losses associated with stomach worms and liver fluke in cattle are well recognised.  But aside from illthirft, greenhouse gas emissions are higher for animals challenged by worms and fluke.  The visible signs of worm and fluke infestation are just the tip of the iceberg.  With subclinical worm and fluke infections having a severe impact on performance and profitability. 

Appropriate use of anthelmintics is a key consideration in sustainable control of parasites. But drugs must be used carefully in order to ensure their efficacy, now and into the future. Check out the AHI leaflet on parasite control at housing: AHI - A Guide to Parasite Control at Housing

Ordering your protected urea

Why use protected urea?

  1. Protected urea consistently and reliably produces top yields under Spring and summer grazing conditions.
  2. Protected urea has lower nitrous oxide emissions compated to CAN and lower ammonia compared to urea.
  3. The price of protected urea is generally 8-10% lower than CAN on a cost per unit of nitrogen basis. Given the high price of fertilisers right now, its important to do the calculation (cost per kg of N) and make an informed decision on selecting fertilisers for 2022.

Having Enough Spring Grass

Did you know ? ..... You earn 1.5 times more from a days grazing in the spring than autumn (about €100 extra for 100 cows). There needs to be a plentiful supply of grass available for this to happen. For drier farms, early calving date and high calving rate demand for grass will be greater. So this is why it is important to have closed paddocks for grazing by December 1st at the correct average farm cover (AFC) for your stocking rate.

To get more detail on this and if getting better results from grass is your goal for next year then see more here

Test your silage and match concentrate feeding rate to the quality of the silage

Knowing the quality of your silage allows you to feed the correct amount of concentrate supplementation to your animals and is a cost-saving exercise. Poor sampling technique is one of the main causes of unreliable silage analysis results. Get the correct steps to taking a representative silage sample here 

For further details on interpreting your silage analysis, read page 26 of  Teagasc Quality Grass Silage Guide (PDF)

Soil sample your farm.  Continue to spread lime, where conditions allow

The results of a soil analysis are only as good as the sample on which it is based. To give reliable advice, a soil sample must be representative of the area sampled and be taken to a uniform depth (10cm).

The principle of soil analysis is to determine the average nutrient status of an area and to give a measure of the available nutrients in the soil. Find out all you need to know about correct soil sampling here 

Lime will bring many benefits from increasing the availability of soil nutrients (N, P, K & S) to improving soil structure (aeration & drainage).  Soils maintained at a soil pH 6.3 to 6.5 will release up to 70kg N/ha/year from soil organic N reserves. Now more than ever, with increasing cost of fertilisers it is important to maximise use of lime by applying lime to fields based on lime recommendations. Read more here

To see more detail on all of the November Climate Actions check out Signpost Climate Actions for November

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