Grass measuring will play an important role on dairy farms over the coming weeks as growth rates once again increase.

Measuring grass already plays a major role on the majority of Irish dairy farms, but over the next couple of weeks it will be vital to ensure grass quality and production is maintained.

Remember: You can’t manage what you don’t measure.

The recent rainfall will have helped boost grass growth in most areas, with the last few weeks seeing many farms in a drought situation.

Grass growth rates had tailed off and many farms were introducing feed to maintain rotation length, while also trying to hold average farm covers.

Grass measuring

The latest soil moisture deficits update from Met Éireann slow that for the most part, deficits have decreased, but they are still quite high in many areas.

More rain is due this week and it is likely that these deficits will decrease further – which will boost grass growth.

As growth rates improve it is advised that a grass walk takes place at least twice/week.

You need to know what is happening in the fields and if growth rates really take-off, the situation could change quite quickly.

Paddocks that were at the ideal cover or close to it early in the week could become too heavy by the end of that week and need to mowed and baled.

To ensure that grass in the diet is maximised it needs to be measured, as this allows for you to manage it better and thus achieve better production from your cows.

It will also help you to identify paddocks that contain large amounts of stemmy grass that needs to be dealt with.