Grass growth is very variable depending on location and soil type. On drier ground where growth is lagging well below demand action needs to be taken.

Reducing stocking rates is the best option but not always possible.

Autumn-calving cows should be weaned and cows tightened up. Some finishing cattle could also be housed to reduce demand.

Other options include buffer feeding baled silage to stock to slow down grazing rotations.

On heavier soils where growth is still meeting demand, continue to graze leafy covers of grass and take out any paddocks gone too strong as baled silage. Resist the temptation to start to build covers for autumn until the start of August.

Willie Treacy, Hackballscross, Co Louth

  • System: Suckler to beef
  • Soil type: Free draining
  • Farm cover (kg DM/ha): 640
  • Growth (kg DM/ha/day): 34
  • Demand (kg DM/ha/day): 68
  • Things are getting very dry here and grass is disappearing fast. It is nothing new for us and we have learned how to deal with the situation over the past few years. I am buffer feeding cows and calves with baled silage to slow down the rotation. Autumn calving cows have been put on a bare paddock and are getting straw and silage and we housed the reminder of the bulls for finishing a little bit earlier than planned.

    On the plus side, stock are very content and the dry matter is so high that it is taking less grass to keep stock satisfied. Second cut silage should have been cut this week but it will be pushed out for a fortnight or so to increase yield.

    Trevor Boland, Dromard, Co Sligo

  • System: Suckler and beef farm
  • Soil type: Variable
  • Farm cover (kg DM/ha): 908
  • Growth (kg DM/ha/day): 56
  • Demand (kg DM/ha/day): 57
  • Grass growth is holding up very well here, this week we grew 56kg DM/ha while last week, growth was as high as 72kg DM/ha. I have just the right amount of grass ahead of stock and quality is very good.

    I plan to make second cut silage in the next week to 10 days. On 35c of grazing ground I have oversown clover in the past month and it looks to be coming through quite well, it could probably do with some moisture at this stage. It was sown at a rate of 2kg/ac.

    Stock are very content, it is always nice to see them lying under the shade of the trees on these hotter days. I am just starting to sell the bull weanlings from last autumn which are around 450kg on average.

    Declan Marren, THRIVE demonstration farm, Cashel, Co Tipperary

  • System: Dairy calf to beef
  • Soil type: Mostly dry
  • Farm cover (kg DM/ha): 946
  • Growth (kg DM/ha/day): 33
  • Demand (kg DM/ha/day): 36
  • Growth continues to labour along in the mid-30s which is sufficient to meet demand. Stock are just finishing the first grazing of aftergrass from first cut silage which was excellent quality and utilisation was very good. On the grazing ground, two paddocks were cut last weekend for baled silage as they had headed out and gone beyond grazing. Yield was low but this will improve grass quality for the next rotation.

    Stock are very content at the moment and are more interested in water and shade than grazing huge amounts of grass during the hot weather. Finishing stock are due to be weighed next week. From here the heaviest and most forward cattle will start to be meal fed at grass prior to slaughter.