Most areas of the country have seen huge grass growth rates over the last fortnight. The attention now turns to maintaining grazing quality ahead of stock.

It is important to walk the farm regularly during periods of high growth to keep on top of grass supply. At current growth rates, ground that was grazed today will be back fit for grazing again in two weeks’ time.

Therefore you can afford to be brave when deciding what paddocks need to be taken out and baled as surplus grass.

Topping may also be needed in some paddocks that have been grazed where seed heads have emerged. It is important to top ground the day stock come out of the field otherwise you will hit regrowth’s.

Any ground that is topped will be slightly slower coming back compared to ground that was grazed so keep this in mind when making your grazing plan for the next few weeks.

Brian Geraghty – Dysart, Co Roscommon

  • System: Dairy calf to beef
  • Soil type: Variable
  • Farm cover (kg DM/ha): 645
  • Growth (kg DM/ha/day): 63
  • Demand (kg DM/ha/day): 36
  • While grass supply is fine on the farm, there has been no burst of growth that many seem to have had over the last few weeks. On the plus side, consistently growing between 60kgDM/ha and 70kgDM/ha has made grass easier to manage. Stock are very content at grass at the moment, dry matter is high and ground conditions are excellent.

    First cut silage was cut in stages over the last three weeks. The crops were decent but not huge, however quality should be very good.

    Just 10 acres have been closed specifically for second cut silage, the rest of the ground has received 27 units of nitrogen with the plan being to top up any ground to be cut for silage where needed in the coming weeks.

    Willie Treacy – Hackballscross, Co Louth

  • System: Suckler to beef
  • Soil type: Free draining
  • Farm cover (kg DM/ha): 1321
  • Growth (kg DM/ha/day): 112
  • Demand (kg DM/ha/day): 81
  • Growth has been massive here for the last three weeks, once the heat came the moisture was in the ground and things really kicked on. We could actually do with some rain again at this stage as ground is getting very dry.

    I have 25 acres of silage mown this week for the dry cows. I am looking for bulk more so than quality for this. First cut silage was made on 31 May for the young stock.

    We have also mown a few paddocks to go in with the pit just to improve grass quality for the next grazing.

    I am keeping a few heavier paddocks ahead of stock just in case we do not get the moisture we need in the coming days.

    Declan Marren – THRIVE demonstration farm, Cashel, Co Tipperary

  • System: Dairy calf to beef
  • Soil type: Dry
  • Farm cover (kg DM/ha): 1083
  • Growth (kg DM/ha/day): 83
  • Demand (kg DM/ha/day): 45
  • First cut silage was cut and baled the last days of May leaving us with almost 500 bales in the yard of good quality silage.

    There has been a huge burst of growth over the last two weeks. Almost eight acres of grazing ground was cut for silage last week to keep grass supply in check. Some topping is also taking place post-grazing to help improve quality of the regrowth. Further paddocks may have to be taken out in the coming weeks.

    The final batch of calves were weaned last week. All calves are getting concentrate at a rate of 1kg/day at grass. We have noticed calves just starting to cough this week so they will be dosed in the coming days.