Are you up for the Grass 10 challenge?
The number 10 refers to the fact that the target should be to graze each paddock on your farm 10 times during the year and utilise 10t of grass dry matter per hectare per year.
These targets effectively mean the target for grassland paddocks must be to grow 12t to 13t of grass dry matter per hectare per year. Then it is up to sheep, cattle or dairy cows to eat upwards of 70% of the amount grown and convert it into meat or milk protein.
Across Irish farms, the current average amount of grass grown is down around 7t of dry matter per hectare. However, many well fertilised farms are averaging well above 12t of grass DM grown once soil fertility, drainage and grass species are improved.
"Our best resource are our grasslands yet people of my vintage never learned about them in school" Prof Gerry Boyle Director of Teagasc pic.twitter.com/OVlfTAytxu— FJ Dairy (@FJDairy) 27 janvier 2017
Over 100 industry guests attended the launch of the Grass 10 campaign which also coincided with the re-launch of the PastureBase Ireland online service. Grass 10 is a multi-year campaign scheduled to run from 2017 to 2020.
PastureBase Ireland is a grassland measurement database where farmers can input grass covers and calculate growth rates and targets for management purposes.
Minister Michael Creed attended the launch and welcomed the launch of these two initiatives that are part of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s 2017 Year of Sustainable Grassland. Other speakers included representatives from Teagasc, Grassland Agro, AIB and the FBD Trust.