Dairy: Grass quality is excellent with the mercury levels finally rising
As I walked the farm last week, it was as if you could see the grass growing in front of you. We're finally here, at that point where grass growth exceeds grass demand.
After a long drawn out spring, some may come to question whether it will ever turn, but on the law of average, at some point it generally comes right.
It's quite important to recognise the change required in management style.
Early spring requires conservative grass management, where it generally always pays to err on the side of caution by supplementing rather than chancing it to reduce the impact of a grass deficit. Then follows a period requiring patience in mid-spring, when cow demand teeters around level with grass growth to finally being pro-active and taking a degree of risk that grass growth rates will continue to generate surpluses.
May is such an important month for the cow as mating starts and is now in full swing. Weighing up what has come to pass, some farmers may feel that it's a spring they would rather not experience again, but personally I'm starting to think that the May grass situation couldn't be much better.
Grass quality is excellent because of the brilliant clean out of paddocks in the second round when grass supply was tight, and because of the rise in soil temperature, it is in ample supply to allow cows to meet that rising plane of nutrition, which aids mating activity and submission for bulling.
It's no surprise that the farmers I have spoken to are happy with the level of activity and daily submission rates.
The first three weeks of mating is as high pressured as the midst of calving, as achieving compact calving is the key link between the pasture and cow in order to achieve a high level of performance in the subsequent year as it determines days in milk of the herd.