Livestock farms in Co Derry have recorded the highest grass growth within the GrassCheck programme, from late March to 30 June.
The programme, which is run by AgriSearch and AFBI, records weekly grass growth on dairy, beef and sheep farms across NI and uses modelling data to give forward projections for grass growth. The data for 2023 shows livestock farms in Co Derry grew 5.67t of dry matter per hectare (DM/ha) up to 30 June, well above the NI average of 5.39t DM/ha.
The cold and wet spring in 2023 has left grass yields running well below the 6.36tDM/ha recorded by farms in the county during the same period last year, but ahead of the 5.21t DM/ha recorded in 2021.
Co Down farms had the second highest yields this spring at 5.53t DM/ha, followed by Co Antrim farms with 5.52t DM/ha. Grass growth during spring totalled 5.25t DM/ha in Co Armagh and 5.22t DM/ha in Co Fermanagh, with the lowest yields recorded in Co Tyrone at 4.79t DM/ha.
Dairy farms across NI have averaged 5.56t DM/ha from late March to 30 June, with beef and sheep farms at 5.22t DM/ha.