While much-needed rain has made a small comeback in recent weeks, many Irish farmers are still suffering with a lack of grass from the knock-on effect of this summer’s drought.

Teagasc has released a guide to recovery, including advice on grass coverage for the autumn.

“Building grass cover this autumn will be more crucial than ever considering the winter feed deficit on many farms. But it will also be more difficult, as many parts of country have low grass covers as a result of the recent drought,” it said in its autumn newsletter out this morning.

The Teagasc experts recommend extending rotation where growth is still less than demand; continuing meal feeding; using good quality of silage if there is still deficit and using bales rather than open pits.

Regarding autumn management, Teagasc advised the following: “On dry farms, start building covers in early August. Stocking rate is usually higher on these farms and a higher peak cover is required. On heavy soils, start building covers from mid August onwards. Stocking rates are usually lower and a lower peak cover is required.”

More specific information and advice on autumn grass covered can be found in the dairy newsletter here.