While it can still feel fresh at times, temperatures have risen more in line with the norm for the time of the year, and with most areas now having seen ample rainfall, grass growth has finally reached a comfortable level for many, though there are some exceptions to the case.

This increase in grass growth should be utilised as much as possible after the dreadful growth witnessed basically since grazing began this year.

Swards on a lot of farms are understandably stemmy in nature due to stress and the plants natural life cycle, and with growth set to rise further, now should be an ideal opportunity to either top these paddocks post-grazing or mow them out as surplus grass.

The latter is the optimum, especially where winter fodder reserves need to be increased.

In order to maximise growth, fertiliser application should be done on any non-clover swards that haven’t received a recent application.

Using fertiliser now will yield a better return on kg of grass grown per kg/N as opposed to delaying application.


Peter Doyle – Derrypatrick Herd, Co Meath

Most of our silage ground is back in for grazing, which has dropped our demand nicely below our growth. With our current average farm cover, we are looking to mow out some surplus paddocks with covers of around 1,700kg DM/ha.

Second cut silage is due to be mowed and pitted as soon as the weather allows, and we will pit these surplus paddocks.

The breeding season finished last week after nine weeks of breeding.

Yearling cattle were weighed last week, with bullocks averaging 510kg and heifers 490kg, giving an average daily gain of 1kg/head/day at grass. We would expect this weight gain to start waning now, with a target of 0.9kg/day across the grazing season.

System Suckler to beef

Soil Type Variable

Farm cover (kg/DM/ha) 842

Growth (kg/DM/ha/day) 57

Demand (kg/DM/ha/day) 39

Shaun Diver – Tullamore Farm, Co Offaly

Growth has improved in the last week or so with the rainfall and increasing temperatures, and hopefully growth will push on a little more. We topped 30 acres that was on the stemmy side after the rainfall to help get sward quality back on track.

All lambs are now weaned on the farm to prioritise the best grass for them, with ewes locked in to a paddock to dry them off. We have drafted 33 lambs for slaughter. Buffer feeding of the batch of cows that had been receiving pit silage via a feed trailer in the field has basically stopped with the improved growth.

A lot of our attention is now on our open day on 23 July, as we prepare the yard and livestock for our demonstrations.

System Suckler to beef

Soil Type Variable

Farm cover (kg/DM/ha) 472

Growth (kg/DM/ha/day) 52

Demand (kg/DM/ha/day) 33

Ger McSweeney – Millstreet, Co Cork

Growth is picking up, but at a rate slower than we would like. I emptied one of my tanks last week on some ground that had been grazed and cut, with the dribble bar used where it allowed.

This was the first topping I had done this year, and while cows had been doing a good enough job cleaning out paddocks, there was still some strong stem in these.

I would normally mow these paddocks out as surplus, but between the slow growth and the paddocks being on the rougher side after a tough spring grazing, I held off.

With growth hopefully set to rise more with current growth ahead of demand, I am in a comfortable position with 18 days grass ahead, which may allow me to mow out some surplus.

System Suckler to weanling

Soil Type Variable

Farm cover (kg/DM/ha) 712

Growth (kg/DM/ha/day) 44

Demand (kg/DM/ha/day) 40