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Liam Stack, Ruminant Technical Manager
The current soil moisture deficit in the Dairygold areas ranges from 30 to 70 mm, according to figures from Met Eireann. There is some rain forecast for later in the week. This may offer a reprieve. A soil moisture deficit of greater than 25 mm starts to affect grass growth, with a soil moisture deficit of greater than 50 mm grass growth falls of the edge of a cliff.
Dealing with a growth slump
During times of declining grass growth, you need to:
How much addition concentrates or forage is needed is dependent on your cows’ demand vs your grass growth rates? Please contact to your Area Sales Manager for feeding advise if needed.
To lower grass demand we can increase concentrate feeding or start buffer feeding some silage and/or alfalfa.
Combining both options can lead to further demand reductions.
2. Maintain post grazing residuals of 4 cm. Over grazing will impede recovery especially in dry conditions
3. Maintain fertilizer N applications while farm is still green
4. You could consider grazing uncut closed off silage ground but remember that winter feed requirements