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Sheep Research Demonstration Farm, Athenry - November Update


Current grazing systems research in Athenry is focusing on the impact of incorporating white clover into sheep grazed swards at two stocking rate levels (11 or 13 ewes/ha) with three pasture treatments at each stocking rate. Philip Creighton Animal and Grassland Research Officer gives us an update

Current grazing systems research in Athenry is focusing on the impact of incorporating white clover into sheep grazed swards at two stocking rate levels (11 or 13 ewes/ha) with three pasture treatments at each stocking rate:

  1. Perennial ryegrass receiving 145kg N/ha/yr
  2. Perennial ryegrass plus white clover receiving 145kg N/ha/yr and
  3. Perennial ryegrass plus white clover receiving 90kg N/ha/yr.

Sward production for 2020 to date and lamb drafting pattern are shown in tables 1 and 2. We had to introduce concentrate supplementation at a rate of 500g/hd/day in early October due to low grass DM% and declining lamb ADG. Any lambs remaining on the farm in late October were housed to conserve grass for ewes. We currently have approximately 60% of the 11 ewe/ha stocking rate farmlets closed for the winter and 75% of the 13 ewe/ha farmlets.  Due to their higher demand for grass they moved through available covers faster with average farm cover of these farmlets now standing at 625kg DM/ha compared to the 11 ewe/ha groups at 871 kg DM/ha.

 

For more information on the  Sheep Research Demonstration Farm, Athenry click here  https://www.teagasc.ie/animals/sheep/research/research-demonstration-farm/