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Grass10 Newsletter - 29th March 2022

Grass10 Newsletter - 29th March 2022

Find out about managing the remaining grass on your 1st rotation in this week's Grass10 e-newsletter. Get the Pasturebase Ireland dairy & drystock figures, predicted growth, weekly tips & checklist, a research update from Moorepark, featured farmer, the clover reporter and upcoming clover farm walks

 189th Edition - 29th March 2022


Grass10 Weekly Tips

Using the Grass10 "3 checks" to plan the start of your 2nd rotation

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 - Walking the farm more crucial than ever Ensuring there is a good supply of high quality grass is, and should be, the priority coming into April when many farms are starting the 2nd grazing rotation. This is more crucial than ever with input prices. Cow milk yield peaks, breeding season for suckler and diary cows begins, and demand for grass on sheep farms is high at a time of year when grass growth fluctuates from low to high growth rates. A sufficient supply of green leafy grass is paramount. Walking the farm every 5 days allows you to make decisions to keep on track with AFC (600 KgDM/ha), Cover/cow (180-200 kgDM/cow), Days Ahead (12-14 days), and match demand to grass growth.

2nd check - Check what grass covers 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 5th April then their needs to be an average of 900 Kg DM/Ha on these paddocks today. As a guide for your calculations - 1st grazed paddocks with 800 Kg DM/Ha will grow in the region of 40 Kg DM/Ha per day over 7 days from now until 5th April= 280 Kg DM/Ha. 900 + 280= 1180 Kg DM/Ha on these paddocks for 2nd rotation grazing.

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 85% grazed, there is 15% or 6 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 50-60% 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.

Farmers should be more efficient with fertiliser applications. This means applying the right amount at the right time for grazing and silage production. This means applying fertiliser during March to stimulate regrowths and for 1st cut silage. Farms with a high stocking rate should have 65-70 units applied by April 1st (45u N/ac for heavy soils or farms stocked below 2.5LU/ha). See piece below by Teagasc researcher Michael O Donovan getting best response to N applied for your 1st cut silage.




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