Looking at Pasturebase data on grass growth rates, the average growth rate across the country is around 50kg/ha/day.

This is 20kg to 30kg/ha/day behind what one would reasonably expect to be normal for the time of year and it’s been like that for over a month.

This abnormally low growth is down to a number of factors; weather, soil microbial activity, nitrogen availability, soil compaction, soil moisture deficit or soil moisture surplus, etc.

Time of the year is also a factor as grass is still in the reproductive stage so it wants to produce seed heads.

When it encounters any of the stressors mentioned above it will then trigger to produce that seed head even if at low covers and this also reduces growth rates.

I think the best advice one can give is to keep to a 21 to 23 day rotation length and feed supplement if necessary to maintain that.

That can be fed through a combination of meal, straights or silage depending on the scale of the deficit.

Farm walk

Grass issues and more besides will be discussed at the farm walk on the O’Neill farm at Mostrim, Co. Longford on Friday 28 June at 11am.

Patrick O’Neill is the winner of the Sustainable Grassland Farmer of the Year award for 2023 so it will be a good opportunity to see how the best grassland farmers are coping this summer and to meet the experts from Teagasc.

The eircode for the farm is N39 Y899 and everyone is welcome.