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Grass10 Newsletter - 20th September 2022

Grass10 Newsletter - 20th September 2022

This weeks Grass 10 Newsletter brings you the standard grass updates from PastureBase Ireland for both dairy and drystock. Get the grass growth and rainfall predictions for the coming week. Get the weekly Grass 10 tips to help manage your grassland.

PaastureBase Ireland - Dairy Figures

  • Average Farm Cover - 775 Kg DM/Ha
  • Cover/LU - 258 Kg DM/Ha
  • Growth - 52 Kg DM/Ha
  • Demand 34 Kg DM/Ha - Stocking rate 2.93 LU/Ha
  • Pregrazing yield - 1,678 Kg DM/Ha
  • Diet - 11 Kg DM Grass - 4 Kg Meal - 2 Kg Silage

Predicted Grass Growth

Counties map showing predicted grass growth over the next 7 days from farms involved in Elodie Ruelle’s MoSt grass growth model on 78 farms.




Predicted rainfall

Counties map showing predicted rainfall in mm for the next 7 days from farms involved in Elodie Ruelle’s MoSt grass growth model - 78 farms.




Grass Dry Matter %

  • Ballyhaise 15.5%
  • Moorepark 14.2%
  • Grange 17%

Grass10 Weekly Checklist

G10 Checklist Sept 20

Grass 10 Weekly Tips

Keep supplement in the diet to build cover

Dry weather and high soil temperatures (upto +2˚C in areas) has enabled grass recovery to continue strongly. Figures from PBI show both dairy and drystock farms have about 3 days more grass per LU over this time last week as farm cover builds. With rain forecast this week grass predictions are ranging from 46-62 KgDM/ha.

Farmers should continue to keep supplement in the diet to reduce demand. This will allow AFC to build further. Farms recovering from drought should get AFC 800-900 KgDM/ha (about 75-80% of target). Complete a grass budget on PBI. Do not be tempted to let off the handbrake yet – every kilo of grass grown now will mean even more grass for October when growth rates will reduce. Remember grass grows grass, so capitalise on the good conditions now!

Oct 1st targets for different levels of stocking rate-:
2.5 LU/Ha - 1000 Kg DM/Ha AFC
3.0 LU/Ha - 1150 Kg DM/Ha AFC
3.5 LU/Ha - 1175 Kg DM/Ha AFC

Feeding 4 KgDM silage per LU when stocked at 3.0 LU/ha will allow AFC to build nearly an extra 100 Kg DM/ha in a week. The advice is to keep 2 x 30+ day rotations for the last 2 grazing rotations i.e. on a 30ha farm graze 1ha per day. This will help recovery and allow grass plants to reach the 3-leaf stage before grazing! Keep the stripwire up when supplement is being fed to not waste any feed! Remember to keep up weekly grass measurements through the autumn.

Have a plan for slurry this autumn

Over the next few weeks, use organic manures, slurry and farmyard manure, to boost grass growth into the autumn. See below advice from Mark Plunkett, Teagasc Researcher at Johnstown Castle, on getting the most from manures in the autumn. Soiled water is ideal for clover paddocks on dairy farms.

Attend a Grassland Winner Walk

This week is all about the ploughing championships for many farmers and others alike. But next week we are heading to the sunny south-east for the farm walk of Philip Tyndall, the 2021 Young Grassland Farmer of the Year! Philip is a dairy farmer who is focused on breeding a herd of cows that can maximise milk from grass-clover swards. On October 4th we are heading to Tipperary for Brendan Walsh's farm walk. The Walsh's are the Sustainability winners who have a big focus on clover on their farm! You are invited to these walks to see if grass and clover can play a bigger role on your farm!

Check out the new mapping tools on PBI

Did you knw you can map your farm using PastureBase? This function was added late last year. It now has a new update where you can map farm roadways, public roads, water courses, areas of forestry, lakes and farm buildings along with paddocks in the mapping tool. These additional features adds a new dynamic to your farm map as the area and length of these features are also calculated. So if you're planning a new layout or roadway, the PBI mapping function can help identify the best fit for your farm!

Autumn Cattle Slurry and FYM Advice

Mark Plunkett from Teagasc Johnstown Castle, Co. Wexford informs us of the earlier spreading deadline for cattle slurry and FYM this year of October 7th and tips to maximise the use of slurry this Autumn

New Cattle Slurry Application Date

Under the recent review of the nitrates action plan the closed period for the application of cattle slurry and FYM now starts on the 8thOctober.  Now is a good time to apply any remaining cattle slurry on the farm and have tanks emptied before winter. 

To make best use of valuable nutrients in cattle slurry and reduce farm requirements for expensive bag fertilisers, identify areas of the farm that have an N, P or K requirement. For example such as building grass covers, replenishing or building soil P and K fertility. 

Cattle slurry is an excellent source of N, P & K and nutrient content will depend on slurry dry matter content see table 1.  Cattle slurry contains significant amounts of P and K therefore prioritise cattle slurry to fields that have a P and K requirement based on soil analysis.  Target slurry to areas of the farm where grass silage has been cut in the last year to replenish soil P and K levels thus replacing expensive P and K fertilisers.

Table 1. Available N,P &K values of Cattle slurry at different Dry Matter (DM) LESS Application techniques - traling shoe /Band spreader

Dry matter % - slurry descriptionN kg/m3 - units/1000 galsP kg/m3 - units/1000 galsK kg/m3 - units/1000 gals
2 - very dilute 0.4 - 4 0.21 -2 1.4 - 13 
4 - watery 0.7 - 6 0.35 - 3  2.1 - 21 
6 - typical 1.0 - 9 0.5 - 5  3.5 - 32 
7 - thicker 1.1 - 10 0.6 - 6  4.0 - 36 

Note - On index 1 & 2 soild reduce slurry P availability by 50% & reduce K by 10%

Cattle slurry contains available nitrogen (N) and is a valuable source of N to build grass covers currently.  To maximise grass growth aim to apply as soon as possible as the response to applied N decreases at this time of year due to reduced day length.  Therefore earlier application will increase grass growth, aim to apply 1500 - 2000 gallon per acre, which will supply ~ 15 to 20kg N /ha (12 to 16 units N/ac).  This is sufficient N to grow ~ 0.6 to 0.75t DM/ha.  Use LESS technology to maximise the recovery and utilisation of N by the grass plant.

Recent research shows that autumn application of potassium (K) compared to spring application of K increases fertiliser nitrogen use efficiency (NUE). (See figure 1 below from Thomas McCarthy, Johnstown Castle Research Centre)

PastureBase Ireland - Drystock Figures

  • Average Farm Cover - 751 Kg DM/Ha
  • Pregrazing yield - 1,688 Kg DM/Ha
  • Growth - 43 Kg DM/Ha
  • Stocking rate - 2.11 LU/Ha
  • Demand - 30Kg DM/Ha
  • Days ahead - 25

 The Clover Reporter

This weeks cllover report is from William Dennehy from Currow Co. Kerry.

Farmer William DennehyLocation: Currow, Castleisland, Co. Kerry
Soil Type: Medium Soils in a high rainfall area
2021 % Farm in Clover: 36% (11.89 Ha)
% from Reseeding: 33% (3.9Ha)
% from Oversowing: 67% (7.99Ha)
Clover content 2021: 17%
Total % Farm in Clover: 45%

Read William's full clover report here

Autumn Grazing Targets

Date Cover/Cow - Kg DMAverage Farm Cover - Kg DM/HaRotation Length - Days
Stocking Rate of 2.5 LU/HA    
1st August 180  450  20 
Mid-August 200  500  25 
1st September 300  750  30 
Mid-September 400-450  1000-1100  35 
1st October 400  1000  40 
1st November 60% of your grazing platform should be closed for spring at this stage   
Fully Housed   550-600   
Stocking Rate of 3.0 LU/HA      
Mid-August  250  750  25 
1st September 330  990  30 
Mid-September 370  1100  35 
1st October 380  1150  40 
1st November 60% of your grazing platform should be closed for spring at this stage   
Fully Housed   600-650   
Stocking Rate of 3.5 LU/HA    
Mid-August 220 770  25 
1st September  280  980  30 
Mid-September  340  1200  35 
1st October  335  1175  40 
1st November  70% of your grazing platform should be closed for spring at this stage   
Fully Housed    700-750   


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