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Grass10 Newsletter and updates - 22nd November 2022

Grass10 Newsletter and updates - 22nd November 2022

Get all the latest information and updates form the Grass 10 team. This week they have the final grass growth prediction of 2022. Some of the advice this week is to review your grassland performance using PastureBase and identify paddocks to establish clover in 2023.

PastureBase Ireland - Dairy Figures

 PBI Dairy figures Nov 22 details in text below

  • Average Farm Cover - 698 Kg DM/Ha
  • Cover/LU - 280 Kg DM/Ha
  • Growth - 14 Kg DM/Ha
  • Demand 17 Kg DM/Ha - Stocking rate 2.5 LU/Ha
  • Pregrazing yield - 1,348 Kg DM/Ha
  • Diet - 7 Kg DM Grass - 4 Kg Meal - 7 Kg Silage

Predicted Grass Growth 

Predicted Grass Growth for week of Nov 22 details in textCounties map showing predicted grass growth in kg DM/ha/day over the next 7 days. This is from farms involved in Elodie Ruelle’s MoSt grass growth model on 78 farms. 

Growth rates this week are at a maximum in Westmeath at 14. Lows this week are at 7 in Roscommon, Mayo, Clare and Waterford.  

This is the final prediction of 2022

Predicted rainfall

Predicted rainfall Nov 22 details in textCounties map showing predicted rainfall in mm for the next 7 days from farms involved in Elodie Ruelle’s MoSt grass growth model - 78 farms. 

Rainfall this week is predicted to be at a high if 52 in Kerry with Galway and Clare at 44 and 48 respectively. Lows of 18 and 19 are predicted for the midland and north eastern counties.

Grass Dry Matter %

Grass DM for Nov 22 details in text below

  • Moorepark 11.1%
  • Grange 11.5%
  • Athenry 13%

Grass 10 Weekly Tips

 Grass 10 weekly tips Nov 22nd details in text below

Just over a week away from the closing target

Your 2023 opening farm cover will be the first grazing target of the year, and is nearly always the most important. However, with high input and output prices - it is arguably the most important year to ever get this right. Your opening cover is determined by closing cover target on December 1st. The AFC has dropped in the past week indicating a lot of farmers are still grazing. Do not drop AFC below your target below. The targets, with heaviest covers to carry over winter in brackets, are below. The targets, with heaviest covers to carry over winter in brackets, are below

2.5 LU/ha – 650-700 KgDM/ha (1300 - 1400 KgDM/ha)
3.0 LU/ha – 700-750 KgDM/ha (1500 - 1600 KgDM/Ha)
3.5 LU/ha – 750-800 KgDM/ha (1600 - 1700 KgDM/Ha)

To reach this, your AFC today should be 9 days x 10 kg/day = 90 KgDM/ha:

2.5 LU/ha – 550 KgDM/ha
3.0 LU/ha – 600 KgDM/ha 
3.5 LU/ha – 650 KgDM/ha 

A good start is half the battle, and high grass availability in the spring is a brilliant start. This is in your control! Every day at grass next spring will be worth about €4 per cow per day on a dairy farm, or about €2.75 per LU on a beef farm. 

Identify paddocks to establish clover in 2023

The clover plant likes to grow once soil temperatures are over 8˚C. And with the mild weather this back-end clover has been growing well. But the idea of growing more clover next year has to be planted now. Preparing a good seedbed, will yield a successful sward. Likewise, preparing a clover plan will ensure good grass-clover swards next year. Management has the biggest impact and it starts with a plan. Start with printing a map of your paddocks. You should mark 1-2 paddocks for reseeding based on low yield or poor quality. Then mark a further 1-2 paddocks for oversowing. These paddocks should:

  • have no/low weeds
  • high perennial rye-grass content
  • good soil fertility
  • open swards - recently reseeded 

Best results for establishing clover are in early April. Aim to graze oversowing paddocks twice if possible, February and early April. The reason is to 'clear the deck' to open up the sward. Decide; how much clover seed you need, what grass and clover varieties to use, post emergence spray required, method of incorporation. Contact your contractor well in advance if necessary. The aim should be to incorporate clover into 15-25% of the farm each year to dramatically reduce chemical N use.

The 2022 PastureBase Scorecard is live!

A big hit last year with farmers was the PastureBase Scorecard. It is a self-appraisal of your use of PastureBase to achieve grazing excellence. It requires you to review your PastureBase reports which highlight the grazing, clover and nutrient performance of your farm for 2022. If you haven't already, make this an absolute priority in the next few weeks. Put aside 1-2 hours to sit down, and take the time to go through your reports and fill out the scorecard. Working smart is not limited to out on the farm. Some of the best farmers in the country are using the PastureBase Scorecard to identify where they can make further improvements in 2023. If you want to join them download the PastureBase Scorecard here

Review your grassland performance with PastureBase

As the grazing year comes to a close and your enter the last records on PastureBase Ireland, have you set aside time to review your data? If you haven't, you need to. Knowledge is power, and you can profit off this power by reviewing the grassland KPIs. Knowledge is power becasue it allows you to make better decisions and take action to improve what you do.

We will be hosting a PastureBase webinar on 7th December to show you how to capaitalise on your own data and capture more of the profit next

One of the reports is the farm cover report. The farm cover report shows farmer commitment to maximising animal performance from grass, to maximise their income. Below is beef farmer, Aidan Maguire's report. Aidan is the 2021 GFOY and walked his farm 45 times this year, continuing even through drought.  

Aidan Maguire's Farm Cover Report 2022

MonthCountCover Date (day)
January 1 20
February 2 6;27
March 4 6;13;20;27
April 4 3;10;17;24
May 5 1;8;15;21;28
June 5 10;14;18;22;27
July 6 1;7;13;21;24;31
August 5 5;14;21;25;29
September 6 4;10;14;18;23;29
October 4 8;16;21;30
November 3 6;13;20
December 0  

PastureBase Ireland - Drystock Figures

PBI Drystock figures Nov 22 details in text below

  • Average Farm Cover - 597 Kg DM/Ha
  • Pregrazing yield - 1,501 Kg DM/Ha
  • Growth - 11 Kg DM/Ha
  • Stocking rate - 1.55 LU/Ha
  • Demand - 15Kg DM/Ha
  • Days ahead - 39

The Clover Reporter

Brian McCarthy, Co Cork

Brian McCarthy, Teagasc Researcher, Clonakilty, Co. Cork is finishing up with grazing this week, picking his time to graze off two grass-clover paddocks that need to be grazed before the winter to promote clover growth. Grass-clover paddocks recieving 150 Kg N/ha grew over 14 T DM/ha this year

Location: Clonakilty Agricultural College, Clonakilty, Co. Cork
Enterprise: Dairy
Soil Type: Predominantly light loam soils
% Farm In Clover:  37% (31 ha; half of the research area is grass-only for experimental purposes)
% From Reseeding:  90% (28 ha)
% From Oversowing: 10% (3 ha)
Clover content 2022: 20% on 31 ha

Read Brian's full report here