Preparations underway in Gurteen for Grass & Muck 2020
While Grass & Muck 2020 is still in the distance, in the “merry month of May”, the pressure is on to ensure the grass will be just right on the day in Gurteen College, Co. Tipperary.
Staff in the agricultural college are currently making sure that the site where the Farm Tractor and Machinery Trade Association’s (FTMTA) silage-cutting demonstration event will be held will be just right on the day.
Speaking to AgriLand, Gurteen College farm manager Ken Flynn gave the low-down on preparations to date:
There’s good grass cover now and we’re just about to finish grazing it off. The plan is to close it up on Thursday next week. We will, when conditions allow, give it slurry and fertiliser.
Ken noted that grazing off the land at the moment is challenging, adding that there’s a good bit of on-and-off grazing: “We’ve made it through most of it; we were worried that we wouldn’t make it around at all.
“Then we were worried that that would have its effect on silage quality – but, with a bit of perseverance and flexibility, we should make it around all of the silage ground before Thursday.
Hosting the big event has meant a slight tweaking to Gurteen’s grazing plans, Ken explained.
“The Grass and Muck ground actually takes up a good bit of our grazing block so we have to change our grazing plan around a little bit.
“There’s one particular field that we would normally cut for silage and it will be used for car parking at Grass & Muck so we’ll zero-graze that field to make up a lot of difference in what we’ll lose in our grazing block,” the manager noted.
On the day
On the big day itself – Thursday, May 14 – Gurteen College will be ready and shining for the spectacle.
“We actually intend on having a Gurteen information area where we will be giving details on the courses we provide,” Ken said.
“When people come up to the silage pits, they’ll pass over to our area, which is beside the milking parlour – which is going to be open to the public.
“Then they’ll go round to the new cubicle shed which will also be open to the public – and FTMTA is planning on having some diet feeder and mini loader demonstrations there.”
For more details on Grass & Muck 2020, those interested can keep an eye on the FTMTA Facebook page here.