On most farms, the limiting factor for growth is currently heat, not nitrogen or rain. The recent rain, though debatable in its coldness and horizontal intensity, has positively influenced grass growth.

Despite a slight increase in growth rates recently, they remain lower than normal for this time of year. Predictions indicate that growth rates will start to rise in the coming days, averaging over 47kg/day in the southeast and about 50 kg/day in the northwest.

To ensure optimal grass quality into late June and early July, it’s crucial to maintain a 20-21 day rotation length and achieve a residual height of 4 to 4.5 cm. This strategy will promote high-quality grass growth.

Anticipate a surge in compensatory growth with improved weather conditions, necessitating prompt actions such as reducing supplementation and skipping paddocks may be required.

However, many farmers have not reached this stage just yet. But with some warmer temperatures pushing in over the country later in the week, there should be a good bounce in growth rates.

Spraying reseeds

Weed control is an essential part of the reseeding process. Weeds in new reseeds are best managed when the grass is at the 2-3 leaf stage. Among the most critical weeds to control in new reseeds are docks and chickweed. These should be addressed at the seedling stage by applying herbicide before the first grazing.

When clover is included in the sward, it is crucial to use a clover-safe herbicide. It must be noted that application rate, nozzle type, length between spraying and grazing is all dependent on the spray used. Ensure you read the label before application to make sure you are being compliant.


  • Expect big bounce in growth when weather improves.
  • Maintain a 20-21 day rotation length and achieve a residual height of 4 to 4.5 cm.
  • Allow farm cover to build back up to an average of 600-700kg DM.
  • Quality can be corrected as growth returns and reseeded paddocks come back into the rotation.
  • Farmers

    Tony Byron – Teagasc Curtins, Co. Cork

    We have over a week of after grass that’s just coming back into the rotation with covers of 1200 kg Dm/ha. There’s only a few poor quality paddocks that are left to correct.

    Our plan with them is to leave them bulk up for two to three weeks and take them off as bales. These can also be used as a buffer if things get tight again.

    Two or three of our good clover paddocks haven’t thrived that well this year. We estimate that clover composition is gone back below 15%, and as a result they will get 30 units of protected urea in the next round. In the previous two rounds they only received soiled water.

    Stocking Rate (cow/ha) 2.9

    Growth Rate (kg/day) 40

    Average Farm Cover (kg/cow) 247

    Yield (l/cow) 17.5

    Fat% 4.93

    Protein% 3.71

    Milk Solids (kg/cow) 1.56

    Supplement fed (kg/cow/day) 3

    Danny and Patrick Cremin – Ballygran, Co. Limerick

    Growth has slightly improved this week with the rain that we got on Friday and Saturday. But we need some heat to put things back on track.

    Some paddocks with after grass are just fit for grazing, but there are also a few paddocks that are very stringy. We’re going into the stringy paddocks at covers of 900kg/ha and the cows are doing a good job in cleaning them off. Palm kernel is being fed in large troughs to fill the gap until cover per cow increases.

    We reseeded 25 acres of grass and clover six weeks ago and it’s nearly at the stage now for some post-emergence spray.

    Stocking Rate (cow/ha) 3.45

    Growth Rate (kg/day) 60

    Average Farm Cover (kg/cow) 159

    Yield (l/cow) 21.5

    Fat% 4.5

    Protein% 3.81

    Milk Solids (kg/cow) 1.84

    Supplement fed (kg/cow/day) 6

    David Gannon – Craughwell, Co. Galway

    We are matching our growth with our demand after every grass walk. We walk the farm every five days.

    In the last two weeks we’ve gone from 2kg of concentrate to 4kg, and from today, we’ve had to supplement it further with 2kg of silage.

    We are trying to manage the middle third of the wedge at the moment by stretching the top third of the wedge. If growth improves, we should be in a good position.

    The next four paddocks ahead of the cows are stemmy enough, but after that we have good quality after grass coming back into the system.

    Stocking Rate (cow/ha) 3.48

    Growth Rate (kg/day) 52

    Average Farm Cover (kg/cow) 163

    Yield (l/cow) 22

    Fat% 4.52

    Protein% 3.84

    Milk Solids (kg/cow) 1.89

    Supplement fed (kg/cow/day) 4