Grass supplies

It’s been another good week for grass growth. While temperatures have started to fall back a little, there is still ample grass supply on farms for the next few weeks if weather conditions allow for it to be grazed. You cannot underestimate the power of weaning in good weather conditions as opposed to wet, cold conditions.

If weaning is completed, there is then the opportunity of housing cows and continuing to graze weanlings at grass for as long as weather conditions allow. Plan your closing up in line with what paddocks you want to graze first next spring.

Stick to the plan and don’t deviate, no matter how much grass is on these paddocks come November. Planning for early turnout should happen now, not next spring. I attended two dairy beef walks this week and both farmers put early turnout as being one of the most important management changes on their farm in the last few years.

The application of chemical fertiliser is prohibited after 14 September, while any remaining slurry on the farm needs to be spread by 30 September. Farmyard manure needs to be spread by 31 October. Aim both farmyard manure and slurry for silage fields or grazing fields that are low in P and K.

Ploughing Demonstrations

It’s hard to believe its Ploughing championships time of the year again. Next week, thousands of farmers will descend on the ploughing site in Ratheniska, Co Laois. The Irish Farmers Journal team will be there each day on the Irish Farmers Journal stand.

There are over 30 demonstrations and discussions taking place over the three day event on our stand.

Farm Tech Talks, the livestock podcast, will take place every day at 10.30am and 3.30pm on the stand, with the opportunity to put questions to the livestock team and tillage editor Siobhán Walsh on each of the relevant sectors.

If you’re at the Ploughing, be sure to call in to the stand to have a chat with the team. The stand is located at Block 2, Row 19, Stand 314. A full programme of events taking place on the stand each day can be found on pages 68 and 69 of this week’s Ploughing supplement.

National Beef Welfare Scheme

The closing date for the National Beef Welfare Scheme has been extended until midnight on 26 September. The uptake has been pretty poor on the back of frustration around IBR testing and the funding for the scheme.

While it’s a far from ideal scheme, it will still bring valuable support onto suckler farms.

Speaking to some farmers this week they were holding back their applications on the basis of changes being made to the scheme because of the poor uptake.

From speaking with the Department of Agriculture this week, I don’t think there will be any changes to the scheme. The Irish Farmers Journal livestock team held a webinar on the scheme last week , answering a lot of questions. You can watch back the webinar here.

If there are any more questions on the scheme you can email them to and we’ll get them answered on next week’s episode of Farm Tech Talks.