It’s an unusual position to be in in July, but farmers are reporting that ground is becoming increasingly sticky and that they are having to move cattle off paddocks quicker than they would like.

Quality of grass this round has been excellent due to farmers taking corrective action, but the inability to graze out swards tight will affect things in the next round.

It’s probably best to move cattle on and prevent any damage at this stage of the year. Swards will generally take abuse for one round, but if we are to damage them now, it will not only affect growth significantly but we could also find ourselves in wet weather in the next round or two as well.

Where ground is trafficable, keep up to date with fertiliser applications and get the last of the slurry out. The current drizzly, overcast weather we are having is ideal for slurry, provided there isn’t significant rainfall forecast for the 48 hours post-spreading.

Growth is also strong, meaning that the uptake of nutrients should be high.

It might be a good time to start creep grazing weanlings ahead of cows. Spring born calves should have a good appetite for grass built up, and allowing them to graze ahead of cows will give them access to the best grass and possibly allow the introduction of small amounts of meal.


Shaun Diver – Tullamore Farm, Co Offaly

We mowed and baled some of our red clover silage ground last week at eight bales/acre. This won’t be cut again and will receive a light grazing with sheep. Second cut silage is just coming fit now, so if we get a break in the weather next week, we will hopefully get this pitted. Ground is a little tender and could do with some good weather pre-harvest to dry it up.

I intended to spread some fertiliser today (Wednesday) but there’s downpours here again. I will go with 20 units of protected urea (29-0-14) in the next few days. Grazing conditions are just OK. Cows are unsettled and inclined to mark ground if forced to graze tight. I’ll begin creep grazing the bull calves next week.

System Suckler to finishing

Soil Type Variable

Farm cover (kg/DM/ha) 802

Growth (kg/DM/ha/day) 66

Demand (kg/DM/ha/day) 38

Ger McSweeney – Millstreet, Co Cork

Trying to get graze outs right is now becoming a challenge. We’re lucky that ground is drying out on the fine days and this is helping ground. Cows aren’t as settled and are inclined to muddy ground if left in a paddock too long. Some cull cows that weren’t bred had to be removed from the main bunch as they were coming in heat, causing damage to the ground through activity.

I’ve been keeping fertiliser application up with 18-6-12 spread on ground requiring P and K, with protected urea spread on high index soils at a rate of 18 units/acre. Calves are being creep grazed ahead of cows by going under the wire and are developing a good appetite for grass.

System Suckler to finishing

Soil Type Variable

Farm cover (kg/DM/ha) 845

Growth (kg/DM/ha/day) 60

Demand (kg/DM/ha/day) 44

William Treacy – Hackballscross, Co Louth

Second cut silage is ready to be mown as soon as we get a bit of a window in the weather. I’m not overly bothered if it bulks a little as first cut was excellent quality. Growth has really lifted in the past week to ten days. I had been feeding some silage to help build farm cover, and the increased cover seems to have pushed on growth. We spread 25 units/acre of CAN+S two weeks ago across most of the farm. The burst in growth has meant that there’s now 12-13 days of grass ahead of stock.

Quality of swards is very good. I didn’t complete any topping post drought, but grazed swards tightly with autumn calving cows. Now I have good quality swards going in to the autumn rotation.

System Suckler to finishing

Soil Type Free draining

Farm cover (kg/DM/ha) 840

Growth (kg/DM/ha/day) 74

Demand (kg/DM/ha/day) 69