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Grass10 Newsletter - 12th April 2022

Grass10 Newsletter - 12th April 2022

This week's Grass10 e-Newsletter includes: PastureBase Ireland - Dairy and Drystock Figures; Predicted Grass Growth & Soil Temperatures; Grass10 Weekly Checklist; Grass10 Featured Farmer - Michael Gowen; The Clover Reporter with Trevor Boland; and information on the Clover Farm Walk Series.

191st Edition - 12th April 2022

PastureBase Ireland - Dairy Figures

Grass Dry Matter %

Grass10 Weekly Tips

Attend a Teagasc Clover Farm Walk
The benefits grass-clover swards provide ought to be a real consideration for your farm  for improved animal performance and reduction in chemical nitrogen whilst maintaining pasture growth.  Attend an upcoming walk if you haven't done so already.

A week of two halves - walk your farm twice 
A change from cold to warmer conditions will increase grass growth (see predictions). Whilst you might be supplementing at grass now to hold AFC, this may need to be removed later in the week as grass growth increases. Measure your farm twice this week and use the predicted wedge to help make this decision on your farm.

Use the grazing targets to stay on track
The targets below will help balance grass supply and quality.

  1. Pregrazing yield should be 1000-1200 KgDM/ha. Take the opportunity to clean out swards to 4cm before stem appears.
  2. Average Farm Cover (AFC) should be around 600 KgDM/ha. Hold above 550 Kg DM/ha to avoid a downward spiral in growth rates.
  3. Match demand with grass growth. E.g. growing 40 KgDM/ha per day and need to set demand the same. If stocking rate 3.3 LU/ha then 40/3.3 = 12 KgDM Grass per LU + 4kg meal + 2 Kg silage (for total intake 18 KgDM/LU)
  4. Rotation Length 20-25 days. E.g. 30ha grazing block / 25 days = Graze 1.2 ha per day
  5. Cover/LU should be around 180 KgDM/LU. This equates to 12-14 days ahead depending on how much grass is being fed per LU.

All parameters above should be near the target on your farm.

Record your fertiliser usage through the PastureBase app.
Farmers who plan and record their fertiliser applications are in a much better position to maintain pasture growth whilst reducing fertiliser usage on their farms. PastureBase contains great tools to help you plan and record fertiliser/slurry/lime usage. Plan to save!

Grass10 Featured Farmer

Michael Gowen, Kilworth, Co. Cork

Michael Gowen is milking cows outside Kilworth in Co. Cork. He started his 2nd rotation last weekend. Michael is hosting a clover farm walk on his farm this Thursday 14th April. 

 Clover Farm Walk Series

In this video Jim highlights why he is using clover on his farm and is adamant that the clover walks are important for farmers to help them manage it, - "the machine might set clover but it won't manage it!"

 PastureBase Ireland - Drystock Figures 

 The Clover Reporter 

This section will give weekly reports from farmers who have a lot of clover established on their farms

"I'm aiming to reduce fertiliser use and get maximum weight gain on bulls grazing these paddocks." - Trevor Boland, Sligo, Beef farmer

Balancing Quality With Quantity

With silage ground being closed on many farms across the country, Teagasc advisor Peter Lawrence is on the Beef Edge podcast with an insight into reducing costs whilst balancing silage quantity and quality.