Grass10 Newsletter - 19th July 2022
This week's Grass10 Newsletter includes; Grass10 featured farmer-Paudie O'Brien; the clover reporter with Peter Doyle, Teagasc Grange; Grass10 weekly tips; weekly checklist; plus grass growth predictions, PBI figure and a New Feature on PastureBase Ireland - Record the level of clover in paddocks
205th Edition - 19th July 2022
Grass10 Weekly Tips
Current grass supply is good on most farms
Grass growth is varying greatly across farms in the past week, and this trend is likely to continue as showers are forecast. It is also varying across paddocks within farms. Grass supply is high on most farms at 219 KgDM/cow on dairy farms and 20 days ahead on drystock farms. This is likely to reduce in the coming week, so use the PBI predicted wedge to help make decisions. Don't over rely on grass growth information outside your farm gate. Manage grass properly by continuing to walk your farm weekly and establish growth and supply to make the best decisions
Low rainfall predicted in most areas but air temperatures will be cooler
The weather forecast for the coming week is showing low rainfall for most areas but cooler temperatures. This will help reduce the rate of grass growth decline. But soil moisture deficits are likely to increase, and grass growth is likely to decrease (see grass growth prediction map above). Farms should avoid blanket topping/premowing to correct quality, as this will slow down growth further. Instead choose 1-2 of the poorest quality paddocks and correct these. Fix quality in the remaining paddocks when grass growth picks back up
Grass utilisation should be high – aim to utilise 90%+
Grass utilisation is high with good dry conditions and high dry matter in grass. Aim to utilise 90-95% of the grass in the paddock, i.e. if pre-grazing yield is 1,400 KgDM/ha the residual should be less than 100 Kg DM/ha. Allocate grass correctly, stock can get an extra 12 hours in paddocks with higher DM%. Comparing 16% DM vs. 20% DM means there is an extra 12 hours grazing in a 36-hour paddock
Hold AFC where growth is low
On dry farms where soil moisture deficits are high grass growths are restricted. To help reduce the effect of this, it is important to hold AFC above 550 KgDM/ha to support grass growth potential. Going below this target reduces grass growth rates, and recovery will be slower. Maintain a 20-25 day rotation length (i.e. on an 80 acre block graze 3-4 acres per day) and ensure pre-grazing yields are above 1000 KgDM/ha. Reduce demand on farm. Options are: remove some animals from main block, bring back silage ground for grazing (if not too strong), introduce silage, or increase meal. Remember to allocate grass in the paddock if you are allocating silage in the yard to ensure good grass utilisation and that you slow down the rotation. Apply watery slurry to paddocks if rain is forecast.
Grass10 Featured Farmer
Paudie O'Brien, Killarney, Co. Kerry
Paudie and his family are farming in Firies near Killarney in Co. Kerry. They are milking 85 cows on heavy soils. Paudie was a previous mixed soils category winner of the GFOY competition. To date, the farm has grown 6.8 T DM/ha on 136 Kg N/ha (including slurry). One paddock is being baled out this week (before the Kingdom's big match on Sunday!)
Peter Doyle, Derrypatrick Herd, Grange
This section will give weekly reports and videos from farmers who have a lot of clover established on their farms.
This week, Teagasc Researcher Peter Doyle, give us an update of how the grass-clover swards are performing on the Derrypatrick herd in Grange so far this year.
New Feature on PastureBase Ireland - Record the level of clover in paddocks
- Now each paddock on PBI can be categorised by the level of clover in it. This option is found in the PADDOCK section on the PBI browser (not ion the app). Click on the button EDIT (see below).
2. Then click the level of clover that best suits the paddock. There are four different option available; ‘None’, ‘Low’, ‘Medium’ and ‘High’. When a level is selected click on SAVE & NEXT (see below).
3. When fertiliser reports are run the paddocks are displayed in different shades of green symbolising the level of clover. This will aid users to quickly identify clover and non-clover paddocks and subsequently alter their chemical fertiliser applications.