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Grass10 Newsletter - 11th January 2022

Grass10 Newsletter - 11th January 2022

Happy New Year to all our readers from the Grass10 team. In the first newsletter of 2022 get current grass growth details and predicted grass growth from Elodie Ruelle’s MoSt grass growth model, plus Grass10 Weekly Tips. See soil sampling advice, research update and upcoming webinar details all here



Grass10 Weekly Tips

  • Before you get into the 2022 grazing season, take time to review your PastureBase Ireland reports for 2021 and identify areas for improvement throughout 2022.

  • It is an ideal time to map your farm using the mapping tool on PastureBase Ireland to have accurate paddock sizes for 2022 & along with using the visual colour coded maps for nutrient status of paddocks.
  • With the high cost of chemical fertiliser in 2022, it is important to plan out where on the farm our nutrients will give us the best response. Cattle slurry will be a key resource on farm to reduce the impact of high N, P & K prices.
  • As we move closer to the slurry deadline being lifted, it is important to remember a few key points on the early application of slurry to get best response.
      • Keep an eye on the forecast & avoid spreading before heavy rainfall or yellow/red warnings
      • 2000-2500 gallons per acre of dilute slurry is the maximum that should be applied in late January
      • Prioritise paddocks with low P&K and under 800 Kg DM/Ha with LESS technology. 

 Click button below to view article by Dr. Deirdre Hennessy.

  • Reviewing your paddock size on PastureBase Ireland – Over the last number of years as herd & flock size has increased on certain farms around the country, fences may have been adjusted to make certain paddocks bigger, or two paddocks have been amalgamated into one. However, these paddocks may still have the old area on PastureBase. Before you complete an opening AFC for 2022, you can “edit” or “remove” paddocks and adjust areas in the “Paddock” section on PastureBase Ireland.

Soil Sampling should be top of your priority list this January

High chemical fertiliser prices for the 1st half of 2022 mean that up to date & accurate soil samples are key to navigating your way through the upcoming grazing season. Soil sampling results gives accurate information on our soil nutrient status ( Phosphorus, Potassium & Lime) and gives a good basis to work off when it comes to tailoring our lime, slurry and chemical fertiliser application to ensure maximum fertiliser efficiency is achieved with all fertilisers applied on farms.

Early January is a great time to take soil samples before any chemical fertiliser or slurry is applied on Irish farms. 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. Here are a few tips in taking good quality soil samples-:

1) Ensure you have a suitable soil corer
2) Ensure soil cores are taken to the correct sampling depth of 100 mm (4”)
3) Take a soil sample every 2 to 4 ha. (5-10 acres)

4) Take a representative soil sample by walking in a W shaped pattern across the sampling area.

5) Avoid any unusual spots such as old fences, ditches, drinking troughs, dung or urine patches or where fertiliser / manures or lime has been heaped or spilled in the past.

 6) Take a minimum of 20 soil cores, mix them together, and take a representative sub-sample for analysis, making sure the soil sample box is full.
7) Enter soil sample results into PastureBase Ireland in the “Soil Test Results” section and tailor your fertiliser application in 2022 to what the paddock requires based on the soil analysis.

Research Update

Check out our upcoming webinar


Our next webinar is very timely as it focuses on how farmers can use PastureBase to maintain normal grass growth and yield using less nitrogen fertiliser. This will improve farm profitability and sustainability. This webinar will focus on having a spring nutrient plan, appropriate applications during the mid-season, and using clover to replace chemical nitrogen. We will demonstrate how to record fertiliser, slurry and lime applications on PastureBase which is essential to achieve target reductions. Young Grassland Farmer of the Year 2020, David O’Leary, will also join us to discuss how he grows a lot of grass with efficient nitrogen fertiliser use. Click below to register.