Spreading 25,000 gallons of water per acre to boost grass growth

Located in Conna, Co. Cork, Alan and Stuart Bryan operate a successful contracting business and provide a wide range of services, including slurry spreading and silage harvesting.

However, recently they have embarked on an unfamiliar task – spreading water in a 60ac field in an effort to boost grass growth and combat the drought-like conditions.

Speaking to AgriLand, Stuart outlined how they began spreading water in a recently reseeded field for a drystock farmer.

He said: “We discussed the process with the farmer and came to the conclusion that it can do no harm.

“We started spreading water on it the other night. The farmer then went with light slurry the following evening and – since then – we have been going with approximately 24,000-25,000 gallons per acre.

It is definitely showing positive results; it’s definitely greening up.

The Cork-based contractors start at 5:00pm and continue into the early hours of the morning; they cover approximately 18ac/evening (9ac twice). The tractor operating the splash-plate travels at 2kph.

An Agquip umbilical system is used in conjunction with a double splash-plate; a Bauer pump is also used.

Stuart added: “I think in fairness to these lads, they are a step ahead. It’s going to cost a little bit of money, but at the end of the day you’re going to get good results. The ground is not totally burnt up yet, but they are hitting it before it gets too bad.

It’s freshly reseeded ground and it’s of a gravelly nature. It is early days yet, but the farmer is happy. We are going to keep doing it for the foreseeable future.

Stuart highlighted that there is a lot of interest in the idea. However, he noted that a lot of farmers are waiting to see how this particular job turns out.

Although this is the first time Ireland has experienced these drought-like conditions in a considerable period of time, this is not the first time the Bryan brothers have spread water in an effort to boost grass growth.

Stuart explained: “Last year we done a race-course in the area; it turned the ground around and we got a great result.

“You could see the difference in what got water and what didn’t; it got greener and greener,” he concluded.