Grass growth figures from Pasturebase this week are reporting and increase of between 10% and 20% on the previous seven days.

Farmers with fertiliser in the yard that are planning to spread a final application in the coming weeks should consider spreading now while growth conditions are good which lead to a good response from nitrogen application.

In parts of the north-west ground conditions are getting sticky underfoot after a week of heavy rainfall.

In these cases graze outs are going to be poorer and performance from grass will also suffer.

Where weanlings or dairy-beef calves are grazing these types of swards, supplementation with meal should be considered at this point. Even feeding 1kg/day will help maintain performance at grass in the coming weeks.

James Strain – Burnfoot, Co Donegal

  • System: Suckler-to-beef
  • Soil type: Heavy
  • Farm cover (kg DM/ha): 962
  • Growth (kg DM/ha/day): 44
  • Demand (kg DM/ha/day): 28
  • Ground conditions are starting to deteriorate here. We have had a lot of rain over the last week or so. Graze outs are still ok but you can tell it is getting sticky underfoot.

    With that in mind we decided to bring in the cows and bull calves for weaning last weekend. Cows were put on straw and the bulls were in a pen beside them but had access to a paddock close by. They are currently on 2kg/day meal but I will increase this to 4kg over the coming weeks. They are November to January born bulls and are over 400kg at this stage.

    Most of the farm received compound fertiliser either 18-6-12 or a Pasturesward type product in recent days which will be the last for the year.

    Shaun Diver – Tullamore farm, Co Offaly

  • System: Suckler to beef
  • Soil type: Variable
  • Farm cover (kg DM/ha): 802
  • Growth (kg DM/ha/day): 66
  • Demand (kg DM/ha/day): 31
  • I am starting to build covers for autumn grazing at this stage, grass growth has increased again this week, and demand has lowered slightly. Conditions for growth are good at the moment, it is quite mild and there is no shortage of moisture.

    The ewes are being used to clean off some poorer stemmy paddocks on the farm at the moment. Next week I will separate out thin ewes and offer them better quality grass. Over the next six weeks I will go through the ewes a few times and continue to move ewes from one group to another as we try to increase body condition score in the run up to breeding.

    The cull ewes were slaughtered last week at an average carcase weight of 35.3kg coming into €123/head.

    Niall O’Meara – Killimor, Co Galway

  • System: Suckler to weanling
  • Soil type: Heavy
  • Farm cover (kg DM/ha): 941
  • Growth (kg DM/ha/day): 53
  • Demand (kg DM/ha/day): 57
  • Most of the farm received protected urea last week with application rates ranging from 18, to 30 units/acre. This is likely the last application of nitrogen, although I will go with P and K after silage to replace offtake.

    I still need to make 100 more silage bales to meet winter demand. We always make a lot of silage in August as demand for grass is greatly reduced. Currently I have 25 acres closed for silage, five of which will be cut this week and the rest will be made in two blocks of 10 acres in the next three weeks.

    Calving is just kicking off, the first cow calved on Sunday. There are 32 cows to calve over the next 11 weeks.