The last week to 10 days has seen the annual ‘back to school good weather’ make its annual appearance and it’s been very much welcome.

A lot of late silage has been harvested, especially in the northwest, where ground conditions in August had been tricky.

While the quality of this might be variable, it’s still fodder in the yard and can be topped up with concentrates if needed.

Growth has actually jumped in the last week, with an average growth rate of 60kg DM/ha recorded on PastureBase Ireland (PBI).

Rainfall has been below normal for the time of the year, while air temperatures are 1°C to 2.6°C higher and soil temperatures are 1.6°C to 3.3°C above normal.

To put it into context, the average growth on PBI has remained in the 55kg to 65kg DM/ha bracket since late June.


The one worry I would have right now is that people may believe that they’re in July rather than September and that reality will bite when the growth rate evidently falls away in the next couple of weeks.

The fertiliser closed period is also looming, so unless you have oceans of grass and growth is good on your farm, you should have paddocks brought up to date with fertiliser applications.

Spreading 15 to 20 units of N should be sufficient for grass swards, with clover swards requiring eight to 10 units in general.

Drystock farms in particular will see demand increase in the next few weeks, as weanlings are now eating high levels of grass at milk yield drops away, while mid-season lambing flocks will begin flushing ewes and reports would indicate that there is still a large amount of store lambs on farms.

Resist the urge to put on a mower, as recovery will be much slower at this time of the year.

Utilisation rates are good with the fine weather, while dry matter has also increased in the last few weeks, so even heavy covers should be grazed with relative ease.