AgriSearch have released a new episode of the GrassCheck podcast.  In this podcast, Jason Rankin from AgriSearch was joined by Kat Huson and Francis Lively from AFBI to discuss the latest information from the GrassCheck plots and farms, along with Paul Turley, a GrassCheck suckler beef farmer from Downpatrick.


GrassCheck beef farmer Paul Turley and Francis Lively from AFBI contributed to the latest GrassCheck podcast

Kat discussed how the high grass growth rates in July had not compensated for the lower rates experienced in the spring months.  Additionally, she noted that on average, plots and farms are down 1.7 tonnes of Dry Matter compared to the long-term average for this time of year.  However, the west of the country is showing slightly better than other areas based on the face that areas were not as dry during the spring.

Francis stated how animal performance is driven by the quality of grass that animals consume.  Performance may vary as it is very dependent on weather and grass quality.  While animals should achieve 1kg DLWG on good quality grass alone, farmers may now be experiencing issues as the dry matter intake declines.

When asked about how his system is currently coping, Paul described the lessons learned during the dry summer of 2018 and how this has benefitted him during the dry spell in May and June, describing the changes he has made to improve his grazing system. He concluded by advising farmers to set the targets they want to achieve during the grazing season and to put time and effort into learning how to utilise the grass that is grown.  Ultimately, his advice is to keep your system flexible and expect to work with the weather.

The GrassCheck podcast can be accessed via the AgriSearch website or podcast directories such as Apple, Google and Spotify.