Above-average rainfall so far in the month of August is helping to get growth rates back on track.

Recent days saw thundery showers continue across the country, with parts of the midlands and northeast recording some of the highest levels of rainfall.

The outlook for the week is for very little change, with showers to persist and temperatures to remain in the mid- to high-teens.

Walking the farm every five days as growth rates increase gives you the opportunity to make decisions on time. Target cover per livestock unit (C/LU) at the moment is 180kg DM/LU.

Where C/LU is below target and you are supplementing with meal or silage, having up-to-date grass figures will allow you to plan reducing supplementation at the correct time.

As many farms have already fed well above target concentrates for the year, reacting early can help reduce an ever-increasing meal bill.


As soil temperatures at the moment range from 15.5°C to 17.5°C, now is a good time to go with your penultimate application of fertiliser if you have not already done so. Continue to spread one unit of nitrogen (N) per day.

If you are on a 21-day rotation, spread 21 units of N per acre.

On the other hand, if you are bulk spreading once a month, spread 30 units of N per acre.

Plan to spread the last round of N early in September in order to get the best value for money, as the response will be better the earlier spreading occurs.

Third-cut silage

While many farms have already finished with second-cut silage, others have been left waiting for a run of dry weather to get that second cut in.

If you are planning on going for a third cut, you will need to spread 60 units of N per acre if you want to yield three to four tonnes of DM/ha (roughly six bales per acre).

This crop of silage will also require 10 units of P and 60 units of K.

Facing into the winter, this is a good opportunity to get the last of the slurry out.

When working out your fertiliser application for third-cut silage, allow for the N, P and K in slurry and reduce chemical fertiliser accordingly.