Ground conditions are excellent countrywide so keep grazing fields or paddocks tightly to ensure good quality grass.

Ideal grass height should just be above your ankle (9-10cms) before grazing and grazed very tight to 4-5cm in height.

  • Nitrogen

Apply one bag of CAN/acre to paddocks or fields that have been grazed except on farms with surplus grass.

Wait until there is rain forecast before spreading to ensure the Nitrogen is utilised by grass. Nitrogen-based fertiliser with Sulphur should be considered on dry sandy or light soils.

  • Topping

Grassland that was strong before grazing and is not grazed out properly should be topped. Topping should be done with a disc mower and cut as low to the ground as possible.

Do not top pastures in extremely dry weather. Topping will also help control thistles, nettles and rushes.

  • Feed Budget

If you have any concerns over light yields from your first cut then complete a feed budget. This will ensure that you have enough silage for the winter.

Close up silage ground as soon as possible for second cut silage. Apply slurry and 70 units/acre of Nitrogen spread seven to 10 days after slurry.

  • Reseeding

Reseeding grassland will put money in your pocket, no matter what livestock system you are involved in.

Reseeded ground will yield more grass, approximately 1t/ha, worth €160/ha. Plan any intended reseeding of old unproductive swards now.

Ensure fields are completely eaten out before tilling. Take a soil sample and have it analysed.

By Anthony O’Connor, Teagasc Adviser, Galway/Clare Regional Unit.