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Update February-March 2018

Philip Creighton,Animal and Grassland Research and Innovation Centre,亚博体育官网无法取款Teagasc Athenry,Co Galway.

Ewes were scanned in early January.Preliminary analysis shows an overall scan rate of 1.83.When broken down into medium (Suffolk x) and high (Belclare x) prolificacy potential ewes the scan rates are 1.72 and 1.93 respectively.This is approximately 0.1 lower than our long term average and is most likely linked to ewes going to the ram approximately 0.25 of a BCS lower than normal.Ewes are in good body condition averaging 3.2 at scanning and this has been maintained as measured in mid-February when ewes were given their clostridial vaccination booster.Ewes are now being offered grass silage (73 DMD) and have been grouped according to scanned litter size and lambing date as predicted by raddle colour which was changed weekly during mating and are be offered concentrates as shown in Table 1.Over winter grass growth rates have been low and are in the region of 2-3kg DM/ha/day.Nitrogen in the form of Urea (23 units/ac) has yet to be applied (mid February) due to poor weather and ground conditions.The fertiliser is in the yard ready to go and will be spread as soon as conditions allow.The first paddocks closed now have covers of ~1000Kg/DM/ha (~7cm) however overall farm cover is below target at approximately 550kg dm/ha or 18 days grazing ahead of us.This is about 7-10 days' worth of grass behind where we would like to be.If grass growth does not improve we may need to consider supplementing the ewes for a period post lambing to stretch the lower grass reserves.

Table 1.Concentrates per ewe per day prior to lambing (kg/ewe/day)

Weeks pre lambing

7

6-5

4-3

2-1

Total (kg)

Concentrates (kg/ewe/day)

Singles

-

0.1

0.3

0.6

15

Twins

-

0.35

0.55

0.8

24

Triplets

0.2

0.35

0.65

1.0

30