Sheep Newsletter - May 2022
04 May 2022
Download Publication (PDF)
In this month's edition:
- Grassland management
Current concentrate prices, and fears of further increases, have put optimising performance at grass firmly in focus. This is best achieved by regularly offering fresh high-quality grass to ewes and lambs. If grazing group size is not sufficient to graze out a sward in about three days, one option is to increase the group size. Where this is not practical, temporary electric fencing should be used to subdivide paddocks to the appropriate size for the grazing group.
- Flock health issues
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s (DAFM) nematodirus forecast published on April 14 suggested that peak egg hatching occurred for most of the country during the period of April 6-18. The full document, including a map showing estimated peak hatching dates around the country, can be found at: https://bit.ly/2022_Nematodirus_Forecast.
- Research Update - Lambing time
Philip Creighton of the Animal & Grassland Research and Innovation Centre, Teagasc Athenry, Co. Galway reports on lambing on the Sheep Research Demonstration Farm. Lambing commenced on March 2. Mean lambing date for 2022 was March 10. Approximately 92% of the flocks lambed over the first 17 days. Birth weights for singles, twins and triplets averaged 5.5, 4.7 and 3.7kg, respectively.
- BETTER Farm Update - Improving grass utilisation
Frank Campion, Animal & Grassland Research and Innovation Centre, Athenry, Co. Galway reports on grass utilisation, fertiliser and more on the BETTER sheep farms. During early April, the farms grouped up ewes and lambs into larger grazing groups and were using temporary divisions where necessary to improve grass utilisation and reduce residency times in paddocks. This is more important than ever this year as the farms are reducing their fertiliser levels in order to manage input costs, so maximising grass growth through good grazing management is essential.
- Health & Safety - May is a high risk month
May is the month when silage making commences. It is a high-risk month when safety planning is needed. There is a lot of machinery movement, both in the farmyards and on public roads, so knock-down, roll-over and crushing accidents are possible.