Grass10 Newsletter - 31st May 2022
The Grass10 team are delighted to see Pre-Grazing Yields come down on dairy farms as farmers remove surplus grass. This week's e-newsletter has a reminder to apply lime, has details of the Teagasc Sheep Open Day in Athenry on June 18th plus the Clover Reporter, Grass10 featured farmer & Weekly tips
198th Edition - 31st May 2022
Grass10 Weekly Tips
Keep Pre- Grazing Yields around 1400 Kg DM/Ha
All of us in Grass10 are delighted to see Pre-Grazing Yields come down to 1476 Kg DM/Ha on dairy farms this week. It really shows farmers have reacted and have been brave after the last period of high growth rates, to . High quality swards are more digestible and have more leaf. Poor quality swards have more stem and are less digestible. The difference to dairy farmer is a 5% drop in milk solids (worth about €420 per week for 100 cows). The difference for a beef farmer is 0.2 Kg/head/day in liveweight gain (worth about €175 per week for 50 cattle). The Pre-Grazing Yield on drystock farms is still too high at over 2000 Kg DM/Ha and there is in the region of 5 days grass surplus on these farms. High quality grass swards mean grazing at 1,400 KgDM/ha and grazing out to 4cm – what you earn depends on the decision you make.
Growth rates variable throughout the country, walk your farm and react
Soil moisture deficits and low overnight temperatures are contributing to growth rates slowing down on many farms throughout the country, with farms in the south east of the country most affected. The new "Predicted Rainfall" graphic at the top of the newsletter shows that many areas of the country will receive low amounts of rainfall in the next 7 days.
In the same way as we react to high growth rates, continue to walk your farm every 5 days. Where growth rates are much lower than demand, it is time to reduce stocking rates and increase supplementation levels. Do not reduce AFC under 500 Kg DM/ha at any stage.
Apply lime to paddocks that have been cut for surplus bales & 1st cut silage
With an increased focus on incorporating clover & high fertiliser prices, 2022 is the year to correct pH across your farm. Research shows that liming acidic soils increases grass production by 1 + tonne of DM/ha and is the cheapest fertiliser you can buy- it releases N, P, K and S from the soil. Consult your soil samples and make a plan!
See the graphic below on some of the solutions to the common barriers that stop us spreading lime throughout the year
Use the Planner and the Projected Wedge on PastureBase to make grazing decisions
With variable growth rates predicted across the country for the next week, using the planner and the PBI projected wedge will help to take the guesswork out of decision making and build your confidence. For example, projecting a wedge with different growth rates make help you decide whether extra supplementation will be needed on your farm. The targets are as follows: Cover/ LU of 160-180, AFC of between 550-600 Kg DM/Ha & Pre Grazing Yields of 1400 Kg DM/Ha.
Grass10 Featured Farmer
Bridget Carroll, Co. Wexford
Bridget Carroll farms in Ballycanew, Co. Wexford, milking 118 cows. Brigid won the 2021 Innovation in Grassland Award in the Grassland Farmer of the Year competition for her focus on Health & Safety around slurry management.
Bridget gives us an update below on her current grass situation, as AFC is dropping and supplementation has to be increased on her farm.
Don't forget about Lime!
All too often we wait to late in the year to apply lime and the opportunity is lost due to wet soil conditions. Many 1st cut crops have been cut across the country and surplus bales have been taken which is a great opportunity to apply lime to bare ground. Some of the common barriers to lime application and there solutions are outlined below.
William Dennehy, Castleisland, Co. Kerry
This section will give weekly reports and videos from farmers who have a lot of clover established on their farms.
This week, dairy farmer, William Dennehy from Co. Kerry gives an update on his clover management and why focusing on a smaller area of your grazing platform will reap rewards in the coming years.
The Teagasc Sheep Open Day will take place on Saturday 18th June at 10 am. Take the opportunity to review the latest research and technical advice from the Teagasc Sheep programme and its practical application at farm level. The grassland focus will be on clover incorporation and grassland management to maximise growth while also looking at fertiliser costs and silage budgets.
Click below for further information.