After the spring we had, there were many farmers who stated that they would never pray for rain again, but very much had to eat their words as soil moisture deficits had crept up to the 60mm level in some parts of the country last week.

Thankfully, ample showers in many areas, with more forecast, look set to alleviate this issue.

Growth has recovered nicely in the last two weeks, with farmers reporting that aftergrass and grazed covers are hovering at the 600kg to 800kg mark.

The warmer weather has seen both first-cut silage ground and some spring reseeds come back into play for any farms as well, which has gone some way to alleviate pressure.


A lot of farmers have felt that grass has been under stress for nearly the entire grazing season, with June being a particularly hard month.

Cold north easterly breezes and the natural life cycle of grasses caused a lot of stem to appear in swards, with farmers also reporting that a yellowish tinge has appeared in paddocks.

So far, annual average loss of yield has been 1.5 tonnes of dry matter per hectare (t DM/ha).

Unless we see exceptional growth for the latter half of the grazing season, it will be very hard to see this loss being made up and it will be more a case of softening the blow.

For this reason, fertiliser application must be kept up to date and an increased rate of units of nitrogen (N) per acre should be considered for those looking to boost fodder reserves.

N utilisation will be much higher in July and early August than later on in the year, so front-loading applications now would be a better option.


I always say that measuring grass when you are tight is equally if not more important than measuring when you are in a surplus.

In this in-between time of going from a deficit to meeting demand, measuring every five days will allow for accurate calculation of when supplementation can be pulled.

Pulling too early will leave you back to square one, but continuing on supplementation past where it needs to be is too costly at current costs of production.