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Grass10 Newsletter - 26th April 2022


In this week's Grass10 e-newsletter; PastureBase Ireland growth figures, Grass10 Weekly Tips, Grass growth and soil temperature predictions, Grass10 Farmer David Gannon, Red clover for silage swards and Aidan Maguire, Drystock GFOTY on measuring grass. Sign up for the weekly e-newsletter here

193rd Edition - 26th April 2022

 

 

Grass10 Weekly Tips

High dry matter in grass- don’t underestimate the pregrazing yield

Pre-grazing yields are too high on many farms (>1,600 KgDM/ha). Use the grazing targets below to get it back to 1,400 KgDM/ha. Options to help keep on track: take out a paddock for reseeding, skip a paddock for bales (or long-term silage where stocking rate below 3.5 LU/ha), let other stock graze a paddock, remove silage and/or consider reducing meal to increase grass intake. Use predicted wedge function on PastureBase to help you make this decision.

Check grazing allocations to graze down to 4cm

With higher dry matter in grass it is crucial that animals graze down to 4cm so you can profit from high grass utilisation now and high quality grass in the next rotation. Not grazing out means more stem and poorer animal performance. Remember the extra gains you get this year are worth a lot more due to the higher cost of production.

Use the grazing targets to stay on track

The targets below will help balance grass supply and quality.

1. Pregrazing yield should be 1200-1400 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 55 KgDM/ha per day and need to set demand the same. If stocking rate 3.5 LU/ha then 55/3.3 = 16 KgDM Grass per LU + 2kg meal (for total intake 18 KgDM/LU)

4. Rotation Length 20 days. E.g. 30ha grazing block / 20 days = Graze 1.5 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.

Continue to apply nitrogen fertiliser during good growth

We are coming into peak grass growing time and response to chemical nitrogen is at its highest. Now is the perfect time to get the best return while grass growth remains strong. Apply 0.8-1u N/ac per day to grass swards (15-20u N/ac for a 20-day rotation). Apply half this rate to grass-clover swards with 20%+ clover content. Don't forget to apply recommended rates of P, K, and Sulphur.

Grass10 Featured Farmer

David Gannon, Co .Galway

David Gannon milks 153 cows in Co. Galway and he is the host farmer for the Grass10 South Galway Grass Group. David updates us as his management moves from spring grazing management to summer grazing management and he also updates us on his clover incorporation this Spring.

 

Red Clover for Silage Swards

Red clover has the potential to fix between 150-200 Kg N/ha per year from the atmosphere in well managed silage swards. This brings incredible savings on chemical nitrogen at farm level whilst delivering high volumes of quality silage for good animal performance over the winter. Nicky Byrne, Research Officer in Teagasc Grange, highlights the key management advice in this video. Nicky expects these paddocks should yield 15-16 T DM/ha from slurry and P & K compound fertiliser across 3 cuts of silage, without applying any chemical nitrogen fertiliser.

Red Clover for Silage Video

Why would a beef farmer measure grass? Listen to Aidan and decide!

Teagasc Grass10 Drystock Grassland Farmer of the Year Aidan Maguire is on this week’s Beef Edge podcast explaining how grazing manangent is the core of his farm, his red clover silage swards and his grassland management over the coming weeks. 

Listen back to Aidan