Taking advantage of early spring grass

Practice abstract


John Trant, Clongoweswood, Co. Kildare (Ireland) has calved cows out grazing day and night with 2 kg concentrates only in the diet. The farmer is carrying out innovations such as on-off grazing, strip grazing and temporary roadways to be able to achieve this. The farmer also has a feed-budget completed on PastureBase Ireland (www.pbi.ie) to monitor grass supply. The farmer could see that due to the mild winter he had enough grass supply on the farm to graze day and night with 2 kg concentrates and no silage. Early N application in the spring would promote grass growth and allow for more grass availability in the spring. Slurry is spread on areas of the farm where there was not much grass and 30 kg N/ha is applied on the rest of the farm in early February to stimulate spring growth.

The farmer is very focused on grazing grass in the spring as he realised the lower cost of production and increased profitability of the system by early turnout.

The motivation of the farmers is very much economic and labour efficiency, having cows grazing day and night increased profit on farms and reduced workload on the yard. To graze areas with low covers to cover area and to increase regrowth for the second rotation. The farmer however thinks that the farm should have received a combination of organic and chemical N to stimulate growth.

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Additional information

Farming system

conventional farming

Domains of innovation

grazing management system

Main types of animal

dairy cattle



Product type

Practice abstract



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