Another week of cold nights has seen growth rates continue to lag behind the 10-year average.

The forecast for a rise in temperatures this weekend should see growth improve.

Predicted growth rates from Teagasc on Friday 7 May predict growth to jump to the high 80s and 90s in some counties.

This week, the average growth rate recorded on Pasturebase Ireland was 49kg/day.

Matching demand

For many, this will mean growth is matching demand, which will avoid running down the average farm cover (AFC).

If AFC is below 550kg DM/ha, extra supplement should be fed or reduce stocking rate by bringing more ground into the rotation.

Pre-grazing covers have dropped during the last couple of weeks on many farms. Target a pre-grazing cover of no less than 1,200kg DM/ha.

Cows grazing covers below 1,200kg DM/ha have to work harder and graze for longer in order to hit the intakes they require.

Dry conditions

The mostly dry weather conditions this week have seen dry matter percent remain in the high teens and, as a result, cows/cattle are very content, while hitting residuals of 3.5cm to 4cm.

In a lot of cases, there are extra grazings being got in paddocks as a result of the high dry matter content.

With a big jump in growth predicted in the coming week, walking the farm every five days is very important.

Things can change very fast once growth kicks on. Making quick informed decisions will ensure grass quality does not suffer.