Five steps to reach summer grazing targets

Claire Fox

Claire Fox

With only one week remaining in April, farmers need to up their grassland management skills if they want to reach summer growth targets. Here's a list of tips to ensure top growth rates for the months ahead:

Reseed now

With growth rates so high on farms, now is the ideal opportunity to consider reseeding. When growth rates are high the reseeded ground will go back in to rotation quickly.

Lime should be spread and three bags of 10-10-20/acre should also be used.

Remember 1 kgDM/ha of grass costs 4-5c compared to 1kg of concentrate which costs 25-30c.

Pregrazing yield

A pre-grazing yield of 1,400 kgDM/ha should be kept in front of livestock. If you have anything heavier it should be baled.

Baling

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The mid season cover target is 170 kgDM/ha. In order to reach this target you should reduce supplement.

If there is a surplus of grass, then it should be baled. When the surplus bales are cut, make sure to replace high K off-take with slurry or high K compound fertiliser.

Let growth equal demand

If growth is high you should minimise supplementation and maximise grass intakes. You should aim to meet residuals of 4cm every rotation, otherwise stem will hit production on the following rotation.

Rotation lengths

Rotation dates should be kept at 15-21 days depending on growth. You target should aim to have six grazings between early April and early August.

To achieve this target you should spread protected urea and sulphur to maximise growth rates and minimise emissions.

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