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Sheep Newsletter - June 2024

06 June 2024
Type Newsletter

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In this month's edition:

  • Grassland demand ramps up
    Grass demand has been increasing. By June most March-born lambs will be eating 1-1.2kg DM per day, and competing with ewes for the best pasture. Aim for a pre-grazing yield of 1,250-1,500kg DM/ha, or 7-9cm, grazing to a residual of 4.5cm. Target a short residency period during June, e.g., three to four days per paddock.
  • Are blowfly control measures in place?
    Implement protective measures in time, before blowfly strike occurs. Having these in place early will help reduce the fly population on your farm and the risk for later in the season.
  • Plans for weaning
    It’s time to start planning for where the freshly weaned lambs and ewes will be grazed. Having access to bare paddock for ewes and high-quality grass for lambs will require some planning.
  • Shearing
    Having some preparation in place before shearing will make the process easier on all involved and help improve the quality of the wool harvested. Some areas to consider are outlined in the newsletter.
  • BETTER Farm Update - Variable growth rates
    Frank Campion, of the Teagasc Animal & Grassland Research and Innovation Centre, Athenry, Co. Galway, reports on growth rates in the BETTER sheep flocks. Grass growth rates improved in May, as did grass utilisation, helping the BETTER sheep farms to get grazing rotations and management plans in full swing. Some farms have dropped out paddocks with heavy covers for silage to keep control of grass supplies and keep quality grass in front of ewes and lambs.
  • Research Update - Increasing grass growth after a slow start
    Edel O’Connor and Anne Biggins of Teagasc AGRIC, Athenry, Co. Galway, report on the INZAC and breeding flocks at Teagasc Athenry. Grass growth has jumped in recent weeks, with an average growth rate of 74kg DM/ha throughout May. All grazing paddocks are now being sub-divided for grazing to ensure that they are being grazed out properly and allowing for fresh regrowth. As a result, ewes and lambs are spending approximately three to four days in each section.