Grass10 Newsletter - 2nd August 2022
The Grassland Farmer of the Year Competition 2022 has been launched! The Grass10 team bring us the details in this week's newsletter. Also get the regular PBI dairy & beef figures, grass growth predictions, Grass10 Weekly Checklist & tips, Grass10 Featured Farmer, Clover reporter and more here
207th Edition - 2nd August 2022
Grass10 Weekly Tips
Drought conditions affecting growth on many farms in the midlands and south east
Many farms in the midlands and south east, particularly counties such as Carlow, Laois, Kilkenny are beginning to be severely affected by lack of rainfall, with growth rates back <35 Kg DM/Ha on many farms and Soil Moisture Deficits over 50mm.
In other areas of the country, particularly west and north west, grass growth is strong due to adequate rainfall and high temperatures. In these scenarios continue to walk the farm every 5 days and remove any last paddocks of surplus in the next 7-10 days.
In drought affected areas reduce daily grass demand. This will help to hold grass cover on the farm, introduce sufficient supplement.
Grass DM is higher during drought periods and grass supply tends to be underestimated.
Where grass supply is very tight, keep at least 12kg DM forage (grass plus silage) in the diet and make up the balance with meal
Post grazing residuals of 4 to 4.5cm should be maintained, don’t waste feed.
Keep AFC cover >500 kg/ha. Dropping AFC will reduce the farm overall growth rate.
Maintain Rotation length at 25-30 days approximately. This means grazing no more 4% of the grazing platform daily.
Visibly drought stressed covers should be grazed this week to allow recovery after rain.
Stop N fertilisation if grass growth is <35kg DM/ha or the grass base is brown
Use soiled water if available.
In the rain period post drought, soil N is released, don’t over fertilise, maintain fertilizer N at ±15-20kg per ha after grazing if average growth >45kg.
Complete a grass budget on PastureBase Ireland
During August our mindset changes from managing a weekly grass wedge during the summer to building grass on the farm for the Autumn. While this may seem unrealistic for those in drought conditions at the minute, it is still extremely worthwhile to have a plan for your farm in the form of an autumn grass budget when the dry spell ends and growth rates return to normal. An autumn grass budget is designed to allow you plan to have enough grass for feeding in October and November of the current year and that a suitable amount of grass is saved for early grazing in February of the following year. Effectively you build up extra farm cover in August and September for grazing in October and November and the following February. The targets are set out below in the table, along with a tutorial from Micheal O' Leary from PastureBase Ireland on completing a feed budget. This week's featured farmer Oisin Gallen has completed his autumn grass budget to help him map out his grazing for the remainder of the year.
Extend rotation length by 2.5 days per week during August to move to a 30 day rotation by the 1st September
Consult soil samples & apply Lime during August
Consult last winters soil samples and target paddocks that require Lime during the month of August. This week's featured farmer Oisin Gallen remarked that " August is a quiet enough time on many farms and it is an excellent time to apply lime to paddocks that require it before weather and ground conditions start to deteriorate later on in the autumn"
Enter the 2022 Grassland Farmer of the Year Competition!
Minister Charlie Charlie McConalogue lauched this years Grassland Farmer of the Year competiton. The competition recognises and acknowledges those dairy, beef and sheep farmers who are achieving high levels of grass utilisation in a sustainable manner. This years competition has 7 different categories for you to enter-:
- Clover/Sustainable farming
- Heavy soils/Disadvantaged Land
- Young Farmer (under 30 years)*
- Organic Farmer
Click on the link below for more information and to enter. Good luck!
Autumn Grazing Targets
Autumn grazing targets will start coming to the forefront of our minds over the coming weeks. The autumn grazing targets are presented in the table above, to give targets for farmers at different stocking rates throughout the autumn.
In anticipation, all farmers should create a grass budget for the autumn on PastureBase Ireland to help plan out your grazings and help you hit the targets that you set out for your farm. Click on the link below to see a tutorial video by Micheal O'Leary from PastureBase Ireland on creating a grass budget.
Grass10 Featured Farmer
Oisin Gallen, Co. Donegal
Oisin Gallen milks 88 cows on 30 Ha milking platform in Ramelton, Co. Donegal. Oisin is a new entrant, setting up in 2020. Oisin is also the host of the Grass10 grazing discussion group in Donegal. Grass is growing really well on Oisin's farm at the minute as he approaches Autumn grass buildup.
Kevin Moran, Co. Galway
This section will give weekly reports and videos from farmers who have a lot of clover established on their farms.
This week, we return to Co. Galway as Kevin Moran gives us an update on current clover management and his management plans for the autumn