We are now entering the period of the best grass growth and it is not that the silage grass is being grown. Fields being taken up for first cut silage should be closed up almost three weeks now having got any slurry and fertiliser required.
Since the 15th of April, any land set out in GLAS 1, 2 or 3, for traditional hay meadow should be closed up from grazing until July 1st.
Anyone in GLAS is open to a surprise inspection and it is best to be always in compliance at all times with your GLAS contract.
From the moment that cattle are turned out, grass management should be at the forefront of every farmers thought , and getting it right from the start will make it easier throughout the rest of the year.
If grass is growing too strong on grazing ground, then remove a paddock or two for silage, this will help avoid wasting grass in covers that are too strong, as well as having more silage available and may reduce the need for a second cut, which will instead be available for grazing when growth is in decline.
An added bonus of removing a paddock like this is that the silage quality will be excellent.
If the case that grass is scarce, then a number of measures could be taken.
Topping straight away after cattle, would improve regrowth as well as cutting the unpalatable grass away.
Making paddocks out of bigger fields, or strip grazing but using a back fence so that new regrowth is left alone.
Coming back out with the fertiliser shaker is also an option but always an expensive one and it is not the answer if grass shortage is always an issue. If a field is just not growing enough grass and it’s not possible to reseeding due to a grass shortage, then a rub of a grass harrow and an overseed could be an option. This means any old grass is pulled up, it cuts out the need for spraying off and ploughing or min till, and the field remains in the grazing platform all the while.
One of my favourite ways to improve grass availability is to reduce stock numbers and this actually will not cost a penny.
And with the mart trade very good, it is something which may make a lot of sense.
Reports are that the mart trade is still very buoyant and with big demand from grass buyers and feed lots looking for numbers. Short keep cattle and near finished cattle are reported to be dipping in numbers.
Best quality lots are reporting to be making over 1000 euro with their weight, with lower quality lots not making as near as much.
While factories are trying to resist the upwards pressure on prices, some are still having to give in, in order to secure supplies, with reports that prices being paid are 5-10c above the base price being quoted.
Young Bulls 405c/kg
Prices above do not include bonus such as QA or other such as Angus or Hereford scheme.