Weather Forecasts to Enhance an Irish Grass Growth Model

Science is playing an ever growing role in effective and efficient agricultural practices, Ireland is well known for its favourable growing climate and weather forecast data is increasingly being utilized for, among other things, grass growth modelling.

While having previously researched the advantages in forecast model data to predict grass growth, McDonnell have taken the next step observing forecast models performance on perennial ryegrass growth at four nitrogen fertiliser application levels on Irish farms. McDonnell et. al compared ECMWF weather forecast data to weather observations to predict growth. Results show ECMWF forecasts out performed forecasts based on climatological averages up to 6 days in advance and up to 10 days in advance with model bias correction. The applications of integrated forecast modelling in projected fertilizer application will likely result in more efficient and cost effective application to maximize grass growth in real time.

The abstract of the paper entitled “Weather forecasts to enhance an Irish grass growth model” can be viewed here.

While this study focuses on grassland growth weather plays a role in other crop growth rates and on the 26th of June Teagasc Oakpark will host a Crop and Spreader Open day at their Co. Carlow farm, Met Éireann will also have a stand there on the day,  information on the event can be found here.