Latest information and updates from the Grass10 team
This update has pointers and advice from the Grass10 team in their weekly e-newsletter. It includes: PastureBase Ireland Dairy and Drystock figures; Predicted Grass Growth and Rainfall; Grass Dry Matter %; Grass10 Weekly Checklist; and information on the upcoming Swards for the Future Conference.
209th Edition - 16th August 2022
PastureBase Ireland - Dairy Figures
- Average Farm Cover - 675 Kg DM/Ha
- Cover/LU - 214 Kg DM/Ha
- Growth - 47 Kg DM/Ha
- Demand 46 Kg DM/Ha - Stocking rate 3.15 LU/Ha
- Pregrazing yield - 1,481 Kg DM/Ha
- Diet - 14 Kg DM Grass - 3 Kg Meal - 1 Kg Silage
Predicted Grass Growth
Counties map showing predicted grass growth over the next 7 days from farms involved in Elodie Ruelle’s MoSt grass growth model (78 farms).
Counties map showing predicted rainfall (mm) for the next 7 days from farms involved in Elodie Ruelle’s MoSt grass growth model (78 farms).
Grass Dry Matter %
- Moorepark 20%
- Athenry 19%
Grass Growth variable depending on rainfall received
After an exceptionally warm week with temperatures touching 30 degrees in parts of the country, we are now seeing cooler weather return with most areas having received rainfall over the weekend & more forecasted for the week. However, areas that were in a severe moisture deficit last week, still require significant rain before farms will start to grow sufficient levels of grass.
Low rainfall areas - where drought conditions persist
- Continue with low daily grass demand.
- Try and hold grass cover on the farm, continue with sufficient supplement.
- Grass DM is higher during drought periods (>20% DM) and grass supply tends to be underestimated.
- Post grazing residuals of 4 to 4.5cm should be maintained, don’t waste feed.
- Continue to hold off N fertilisation if grass growth is <35kg DM/ha or the grass base is brown.
- Keep AFC cover >500 kg/ha. Dropping AFC will reduce the farm overall growth rate.
- Maintain Rotation length at 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.
- 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.
In Areas that have received adequate rainfall (20 + mm)
- Slowly increase grass allowance and build AFC.
- Hold/Increase grazing rotation to 35+ days.
- Maintain post grazing residuals of 4 to 4.5cm should be maintained, don’t waste feed.
- In paddocks with visibly drought stressed covers, graze immediately to allow recovery.
- In the recovery period post drought, maintain fertilizer N at ±15-20kg per ha after grazing if average growth >45kg.
- Reduce supplement once growth exceeds grass demand.
Other areas of the country that have recieved adequate rainfall over the last 3/4 weeks particularly the BMW ( Border, Midlands, West) are experiencing excellent growth currently. Keep in line with Autumn Targets below and take out a paddock for surplus bales if you are 100 kg DM/Ha ahead of your AFC targets.
Review soil samples and apply Lime and P & K this Autumn
In the soil fertility trends below, national soil fertility is decreasing slightly on dairy farms. Now is the time to look at soil samples and apply Lime as ground conditions are excellent. Remember you only need to get 10 acres together to have sufficient area for 1 lorry load of lime ( 20 tonne)
Also review PastureBase and assess how many grazings and silage cuts have been taken off your paddocks. Calculate how much P and K has been applied this year in the form of slurry and fertiliser and apply P and K to paddocks that require it for maintenance. William Burchill discusses the P and K nutrients that are taken off by both silage and grazing which will help you calculate your requirements
Review your AFC with Autumn Targets for your farm
Keep an eye on the Autumn Grazing Targets for your farm in the table below. Farms stocked around 2.5-3.0 LU/ha should begin building grass in the next week. Keep walking your farm weekly to monitor AFC against the targets. Rotation length should be 25 days for farms stocked at 3.0+ LU/ha. This is not rotation length between grazing events, it is rotation length based on area per day. E.g. 25ha grazing block should be grazing 1 ha per day, this should extend to 30 days by early Sept, i.e. 0.8 ha per day.
Mid August targets for different levels of stocking rate-:
- 2.5 LU/Ha - 600 Kg DM/Ha AFC
- 3.0 LU/Ha - 750 Kg DM/Ha AFC
- 3.5 LU/Ha - 770 Kg DM/Ha AFC
Autumn Grazing Targets
Enter the 2022 Grassland Farmer of the Year Competition!
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!
PastureBase Ireland - Drystock Figures
- Average Farm Cover - 719 Kg DM/Ha
- Pregrazing yield - 1,624 Kg DM/Ha
- Growth - 31 Kg DM/Ha
- Stocking rate - 2.45 LU/Ha
- Demand - 37 Kg DM/Ha
- Days ahead - 19
Swards for the Future Conference