Looking at Met Eireann data, the average soil temperature over the last seven days is running at between 16.2°C and 18.7°C in Knock and Oakpark respectively.

Average soil temperatures are between 3°C and 5°C higher than normal.

This tells us a number of things.

Firstly, it explains why average grass growth rates are running 15kg to 20kg per day higher than normal.

Secondly, it indicates that these higher grass growth rates are likely to continue for another while. We know this because soils are slow to heat up and slow to cool down.

So even if the weather does change drastically, grass growth rates should remain high, at least for another few weeks.

Good forecast

However, the weather forecast is reasonably good, with higher than normal temperatures forecast.

There is also some rain in the forecast, which should help those who are looking for moisture, although soil moisture deficits are insufficient to cause a reduction in growth, but local exceptions may apply.

Higher soil temperatures means more biological activity and a greater release of background nitrogen.

This should be borne in mind as the deadline for the closed period for chemical fertiliser approaches on Wednesday.

Additional nitrogen

Essentially, all fields will be getting additional nitrogen now, even where there is no clover present, so keep this in mind when setting nitrogen rates over the next 24 to 36 hours.

In or around 20 units/acre should be more than sufficient where no nitrogen has been spread for a few weeks.

Spreading any more than this risks extra nitrogen being lost.