With sky-high fertiliser prices well documented, it has left many farmers with a dilemma on what to do about growing grass for grazing, and also for silage.

Many have looked at alternative options to buying-in chemical fertiliser, as they have been priced out of buying any, such as making better use of on-farm slurry or farmyard manure.

Other farmers have bit the bullet and bought-in chemical fertiliser and in many cases on farms, particularly those running intensive systems, there’s just no other way around it other than to buy it at what it is costing this year.

Other options of growing grass, other than spreading chemical fertiliser, are being looked at.

Some farms are opening up to the idea of incorporating multi-species swards on their farms in an attempt to reduce chemical nitrogen dependency on farms, especially considering the new measure launched last week by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

However, many farmers right now need a quick fix.

On sheep farms, the turnout of ewes and lambs is in full flow and as such, are priority stock on the farm that need to be given access to the best-quality grass available.

Now may be a good time to take pressure off what reserves of grass are on the farm by moving off lesser-priority stock on the farm. In the case of sheep farms, this would be cull ewes and maybe the worst of the hogget ewes that may not be up to the mark for breeding sales in the autumn.

Factory prices for cull ewes now reaching €4.00/kg and hoggets now making up to €7.50/kg and this demand is expected to continue to improve, as both Ramadan and Easter approach.

If this isn’t an option, many farmers are making the move towards spreading lime on land as an alternative option to spreading chemical fertiliser.