The 2018 grazing season was a tale of two halves for Northern Irish farmers, with the late wet Spring and Summer drought conditions impacting on forage availability, yields and quality of crops and milk production. Initial GrassCheck on-farm data from Agrisearch for 2018 shows a two to three tonne variation in total dry matter yield between Eastern and Western farms, with the Summer drought having a big impact on total annual grass yields in East. In addition, grass growth recorded on plots at Hillsborough and Greenmount was approximately 20% lower than 10-year average.
Agrisearch organised dairy walks on two Northern Ireland farms this summer that participate in its popular Grasscheck Project. These walks demonstrated just how different the 2018 grazing season was on farms across the province due to the impact of the weather. The farm walks show how weather can dictate the entire farming policy and that Agrisearch Grasscheck can help make real improvements and manage the challenging weather conditions farmers are now facing. Agrisearch Grasscheck Bulletins resume again in March 2019.