Grass10 Newsletter - 22nd March 2022
This week's Grass10 Newsletter includes; a research update on fertiliser for 1st cut silage; Grass10 featured farmer; the clover reporter with William Dennehy plus Grass10 weekly tips for managing grass on your 1st rotation; weekly grass checklist; grass growth predictions and Clover farm walks
188th Edition - 22nd March 2022
Grass10 Weekly Tips
Dry weather conditions throughout the country have resulted in excellent grazing conditions and increasing soil temperatures over St Patricks weekend. For many dairy farmers particularly in the East & South of the country, now is the time to start managing the remaining grass on your 1st rotation to ensure adequate grass covers at the start of the 2nd rotation by completing the Grass10 "3 checks!"
1st check - Complete a weekly grass walk to establish Average Farm Cover
There is a large demand on many farms currently, so it is imperative to complete your weekly grass walk. Avoid dipping under 550 Kg DM/Ha AFC during late March / early April at all costs. This will have a detrimental affect on grass growth.
2nd check - Check what grass covers ( Kg DM/Ha ) are back on your 1st 4 paddocks grazed
During your weekly grass walk, check what covers are on your first 4 paddocks grazed, this is important so you can make your plan for when you are starting your 2nd round. If you are planning on starting your 2nd round on the 5th April, then their needs to be 850 Kg DM/Ha on these paddocks today.
3rd check- Make a plan for how many days/weeks you have left on your 1st rotation
Work out what % you have grazed of your farm. For example for a farm of 40 Ha with 70% grazed, there is 30% or 12 Ha remaining to graze until the start of the 2nd rotation. If you are planning on ending the 1st rotation on the 5th April, that gives you 0.8 Ha to graze per day. Coupled with your review of what you have on the 1st paddocks, you will then be able to make an informed decision on whether to push out the start of the 2nd rotation and introduce supplement.
For those farms with 30-50% grazed or farming on heavy soils, continue to graze medium grass covers of between 1100 - 1400 Kg DM/Ha to get through area grazed to stimulate grass growth. In this scenario, 2nd rotation start date will be the 15th April or after.
Many farmers are behind with fertiliser application, particulary due to poor weather conditions in early March & price and availability concerns. However, we must apply fertiliser during March to stimulate regrowths and for 1st cut silage. For dairy farms with only 23 units/acre or 2500 gallons of slurry per acre, the advice is to apply 40u N/acre THIS WEEK to bring you to the target of 65-70 units by April 1st. See piece below by Teagasc researcher Michael O Donovan getting best response to N applied for your 1st cut silage.