Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Grass Advice: 'Don't be tempted to graze on, think of next spring'

Gordon Peppard

Published 03/11/2016 | 13:00

There will be very little growth in late November, December, January and February, and the grass that is currently on paddocks is the grass that you will have to graze early next spring, provided you leave it in situ now.
There will be very little growth in late November, December, January and February, and the grass that is currently on paddocks is the grass that you will have to graze early next spring, provided you leave it in situ now.

Following on from last month's article on the autumn grassland rotation planner, many of you should be reaching your target of 60pc of the farm closed by the end of this week.

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The planner works on the basis that fields or paddocks that have been grazed off and closed up for the last four or five weeks, due to the fine weather, are likely to have a nice cover of grass on them now.

With ground conditions holding up well and nice fresh regrowth on closed paddocks, the last thing you want to do is to try and get one last grazing off these paddocks before housing, no matter how good the weather is and how dry the land is.

These fields are set up perfectly for early grazing next spring, and should be left ungrazed until then.

There will be very little growth in late November, December, January and February, and the grass that is currently on paddocks is the grass that you will have to graze early next spring, provided you leave it in situ now.

These are the fields that will respond much earlier to increasing temperatures and early nitrogen next spring, and will return to growth much quicker than fields that are grazed from now until housing and have little or no cover on them over the winter period.

From this weekend on, graze off the remaining 40pc of the farm.

This should take you up to housing. When all animals are housed, there should be a range of grass covers on the farm from grazed out (4cm) to 8/9cm which should give an average farm cover at closing of 500-600 kgs of dry matter per hectare.

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This grass will be ready and waiting for next spring. Don't undo all the good work now - stay out of them until next spring.

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