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Grass 10 Newsletter - 14th March 2023

This week's edition of the Grass 10 newsletter features PastureBase Ireland data, predicted growth, soil temperatures and rainfall levels and the weekly Grass10 checklist.

PastureBase Data

pasturebase 14 March 23

Predicted rainfall

Counties map showing predicted rainfall (mm) for the next 7 days from farms involved in the MoSt grass growth model (78 farms).

rainfall 14 march 23 

Grass growth predictions

Counties map showing predicted grass growth over the next 7 days from farms involved in the MoSt grass growth model (78 farms).

grass growth 14 march 23 

Average soil temperatures

Counties map showing average soil temperatures for the next 7 days.

soil temp 14 march 23

Grass Dry Matter levels

Moorepark 14.5%
Grange 16%
Athenry 15.5%

Grass 10 Weekly Checklist

grass 10 checklist 14 march 23

Target for St. Patrick's Day is to have 65% grazed 

  • Check your percentage grazed by completing a grass cover on PastureBase and updating graze dates
  • Stick to targets - about 2% of area per day
  • If you are ahead of target, slow down your rotation with high quality baled silage to supplement
  • If you are behind on area, move to grass covers of <1300Kg DM/Ha
  • An average of 600 KgDM/ha on the first 3-4 earliest grazed paddocks with the strongest regrowth.

Use on - off grazing during challenging weather conditions

  • Many farms have received >40 mm rain over the weekend and will receive >30mm in the next 7 days.
  • This will have more of an impact on some heavier farms who willl be forced to house animals 
  • The priority is still to get one allocation of grass in per day, every 3kg grass in the diet results in 1L extra milk/cow and additional daily gain for drystock farms
  • See infographic below on the paddocks to target for grazing during challenging weather conditions

 Include sulphur in your fertiliser from late March to July

  • Grass growth response to sulphur application is high (+2.5 T DM/ha)
  • See research piece below by Mark Plunkett, Teagasc Johnstown Castle, Co. Wexford

Walk your farm weekly from now onwards

  • AFC less than 700 KgDM/ha on 41% of PBI farms
  • At current demand and growth, the difference is 10 KgDM/ha/day or a drop in AFC by ~70 KgDM/ha per week
  • Temptation on these farms to keep grazing hard- big risk- must reduce demand!
  • Hold AFC above 600 KgDM/ha until early April - walk weekly
  • Match demand to grass growth (e.g. growing 15kg/day with SR 2.5 LU/ha = allocating 6 Kg DM/LU grass per day),
  • Low AFC (<550 KgDM/ha) reduces growth substantially

Many farms in the above scenarios should be only allocating grass by day and housed on high quality silage by night.

Don’t forget Sulphur when ordering fertiliser

When purchasing fertilisers in 2023 don’t forget to ask for sulphur (S) in both grazing and silage fertilisers.

Recent research from Johnstown Castle shows that S has a major role to play in increasing N use efficiency (NUE), grass N uptake and grass yield while reducing N leaching.

For grazing fields apply 20 kg S/ha/year and for silage fields apply 15 to 20kg S/ha/cut. For grazing fields select a product such as 18-6-12 +3% S and apply between March to July. Research trials shows up to a 2.5t/ha yield response to S applications during this period. For silage, fields receiving cattle slurry (3,000gals/ac) apply protected urea + S (38% N + 7% S) to balance crop N & S requirements at closing time.

Dont forget Sulphur when ordering fertiliser

Grass 10 Featured Farmer

Aidan Hough, Co. Tipperary, Dairy Farmer

Aidan Hough


Grass 10 Clover Reporter

Killian Brennan, Co. Cavan, Dairy Farmer

Killian Brennan


Upcoming Grass10 Clover Walks

Upcoming Grass10 Clover Walks


Click here for more information about upcoming Clover Walks


For more information on the Teagasc Grass10 Campaign, click here