Weekly grass growth for week ending Friday 6th October was 42 kg DM/ha on average around the country.
Last week (29th September) average growth figures on dairy farms around the country was 52 kg DM/ha, according to PBI figures. Grass DM is currently around 15%, the forecast for this week is relatively good, this is badly need as ground conditions have become very challenging in many areas in recent weeks due to the level of rainfall right across the country. Over the previous week (25th Sept to 1st Oct.) average rainfall has been 145% of the normal, with soil temperatures 1.4 ⁰ C above normal for the same period according to latest Met Eireann figures. As a result grass growth has remained strong for the time of year, but the wet conditions are making utilisation of this grass difficult. Using 12 hour breaks will help improve utilisation of heavy covers.
As we are now into October, many farms will have now started their final rotation, ensuring good clean outs and budgeting of grass over the next 6 –8 weeks will be crucial to ensure sufficient quantities of high quality grass is available for next spring. Know the targets for your farm and use an autumn budget to ensure you maintain your targets in the autumn and close the farm at the correct cover for your stocking rate.