Farm Ireland

Friday 23 March 2018

Closed paddocks should remain just that - closed!

Grass cover on a paddock that was closed off earlier this month
Grass cover on a paddock that was closed off earlier this month

Grass to be grazed early next spring will be the grass that was grown in October of this year.

Fields or paddocks that have been grazed off and closed up for the last four or five weeks are likely to have a nice cover of grass on them now.

Do not be tempted to get one last grazing off of them 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.

They 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.

Continue to close up around 15pc of your farm each week to reach your target of 60pc closed by the end of the first week of November.

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

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

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