Grass growth remains an issue in most areas, although the reason for poor growth differs greatly depending on farm location. In the south a lack of moisture is causing growth issues and what is growing is quite poor quality as swards head out at low covers.

Further north, a lack of moisture definitely cannot be blamed for poor growth with some areas struggling with ground conditions due to heavy rainfall.

However, up until recently, low nighttime temperatures and cool winds have been keeping growth levels quite low.

It is hard to prescribe advice to farmers when the issues being faced are as polar opposite as they currently are. One action that should be universal is to continue to walk the farm once a week to keep a good handle on grass supply.

In either situation, where grass supply is limited the only options available are to add more ground which many farms will be doing in the coming weeks once silage ground recovers enough to graze, or reduce the demand for grass on the ground.

This can be in the form of selling some stock, housing forward stores earlier than planned or feeding silage at grass in the south where ground conditions allow.

Worm control

Not as big an issue in the south due to dry conditions, but in the northern half of the country there has been an increase in worm burdens in pasture over the last few days due to warm humid weather conditions.

For stomach worms the decision to dose should be based on a faecal egg test.

The treatment used will depend on what works on your farm and should be discussed with your vet. A reduction test following treatment is always a g?ood idea to help identify any potential resistance problems.

Lung worm seems to be a bigger issue at the moment, and the decision whether to dose or not should be made when you hear stock coughing after a short exertion such as moving them from one paddock to another.

Dairy-beef stock will be at higher risk of infection than suckler bred stock as a higher proportion of their diet comes from grazed grass.

Most anthelminthics are effective against both the larvae and the adult lung worm, but it is best to consult your vet in order to select the correct treatment, which may be combined with a treatment for gut worms where necessary.

Second cut silage

This week’s silage series (page 35) outlines fertiliser requirements for second cut. First cut yields have been excellent in almost all areas of the country but it is important that farmers do not take the foot off the gas just yet when it comes to securing silage stocks.

We are seeing farms in the south of the country having to feed silage to stock at grass due to dry conditions, which will put a dent in silage supplies for the winter.

Along with this, most farms have pulled back on fertiliser applications on grazing ground so the amount of surplus bales made from now on will be reduced.

Ensure you close enough acres for second cut to give yourself a buffer of feed in the yard heading into this winter.