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JUNE 2019
www.irishfarmersmonthly.com
Management Hints
JUNE 2019
Management Hints
www.irishfarmersmonthly.com
49
grazed grass or high quality bales is a must take this
action if you have more than 70 per cent of your silage in
the pit.
f
f
If short of silage a few kgs meal would be the best option.
f
f
In times of massive or poor growth grass measure twice
per week.
BALES AS A GRASS MANAGEMENT TOOL
X
As topping is effectively wasting grass or utilising less of the
grass grown, we must avoid topping as an option at all costs.
How?
X
Many farmers are now using a disc-mower (instead of
toppers) to manage their grazing to very high quality levels
by cutting out `strong paddocks' for baled silage.
X
This material should be cut, very low at 3.5 cms, tedded or left
in small rows for wilting, then bagged.
f
f
It will take 3-6 days longer to come back into the rotation,
depending on cover.
X
This silage will be very good quality:
f
f
It will be 80 per cent + DMD, nearly as good as meal and
costing less than 10cents/kg DM,
f
f
It can and must replace meal in August-September-
October-February,
f
f
Aim to have one bale of this material for every 4 cows in
herd so as to reduce your Autumn-Spring meal bill.
X
For every 4 bales taken off a paddock, you must put back out
1000 gallons of undiluted slurry immediately to replenish P
& K.
X
Topping becomes necessary on under stocked farms and
farmers who are not into measuring grass. This year is a
particular problem due to the massive burst of growth in late
April to early May which resulted in a stemmy base and more
than 25 per cent dung-pads in paddocks.
f
f
Most topping done by farmers is only cosmetic (waste of
time).
f
f
Having a lot of "tall grass" in a paddock is a terrible waste
of Nitrogen (you applying it on 25-30 per cent of the
paddock that will not be grazed) and Grass (because all the
leaves left after this grazing will rot and be replaced over
the next 21 days)
f
f
Must top to 3.5cms (no more) over ground level.
f
f
A rotary disc mover is the best I don't see any place on a
farm for conventional toppers as grass management tools.
f
f
Because topping reduces grass growth; one must only top
every second or third paddock.
f
f
If topping all paddocks the rotation length would want to
be 25-27 days or the stocking rate very low.
f
f
Topping must be done the day after grazing, otherwise
regrowth's are damaged,
f
f
Low topping will not damage the grazed area or cut off any
of it, unless very high.
X
Avoid topping as much as possible as you are wasting grass
every 1 ton/ha is equal to 180/ha extra profit. If the situation
and grass growth allows, you could decide not to top but plan
to pre-cut or bale it on next rotation.
GRASS WON'T GROW WITHOUT N
X
You cannot grow grass and maintain quality without
Nitrogen.
X
But you must work within your nitrate limits, as follows: