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  • Writer's picturePhilip


Many livestock farmers need to deal with lower grazing and silage yields as a result of the recent weather pattern. The varying climate had a detrimental effect on grass growth rates; low rainfall totals have had a major impact on grass productivity.

To minimise business risk a number of clients set out to manage their grass production.

Earlier in the year “no one” was going to apply inorganic fertiliser to grass. “To expensive!” What happened from February onwards was laboratory analysis of slurry to ascertain its fertiliser value. Results ranged from 0.1 to 0.4% nitrogen and the amounts applied over the next few months varied accordingly. Consequently that achieved was good early season production and prior to July good regrowth.

Alongside more careful use of slurries application of gibberellic acid (GA3) was made to specific fields to further increase productivity. This too also appeared to work well.

Maybe the application of more water would have been equally effective for increasing growth and production but few have official licences for this practise. It takes around 250,000 lt applied per ha to be equivalent to 25mm of rain, that’s a lot of water (and diesel when running a pump!)


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