There is some milder, drier weather forecast over the coming days and through the weekend.

Hopefully, this will help ground to dry out and potentially allow some slurry or chemical fertiliser to be applied to grassland.

If you do decide to try to get fertiliser out, pick your fields carefully. Kind in mind that if fields get slurry, it will probably delay grazing for another three weeks.


Slurry is high in potassium (K), which limits magnesium (M) uptake in swards, putting cows in milk at increased risk of grass tetany.

If using low emissions slurry spreading (LESS) equipment, the risk of tetany remains high in lactating cows, as it is the K content in slurry that is the issue, not the application method.

But LESS application will leave grass cleaner, so weanlings could get to grass within a few days of slurry, if ground conditions allowed.

Limit slurry applications to 1,500 gallons/acre on grazing ground and 3,000 gallons/acre on silage ground that will not be grazed this spring.

Chemical fertiliser

If slurry is not an option, chemical nitrogen (N) at a rate of 25 to 30 units/acre could be applied to grassland, should ground conditions permit.

CAN with sulphur (S) and urea will kickstart growth on grazing ground. As they do not contain K, the risk of tetany will be reduced if the aim is to get cows and calves out later this month.

Read more

Five tips for turning cattle out to grass

Winter finishers losing €200/head on stores