Wet and cold requires switch in strategy
WHERE has all the grass gone? It's been a big change in the weather for the last two weeks, with plenty of heavy showers and even hailstones, and the bank of grass we had in March is almost gone.
Any fields not spread with urea in February were given 1.5 bags of Pasture Sward on March 22. We got a good response and this is what we are grazing now. Any fields grazed by March 12 got 20 units of Net Nitrogen. These fields freshened up nicely but there is not an awful lot of grass on them.
This time last year we recorded growth of 45kg/ha. Now it is nearer to 15kg/ha.
The question now is which approach to take. We need to keep lambs thriving while at the same time slow down our grazing rotation. My strategies to give grass a chance to recover are:
1. Put in creep-feeders with the lambs for a few weeks and keep their daily liveweight gain at 300g per day. Another plus for giving some creep is that when you are trying to get the lambs to graze the next paddock ahead of the ewes they can be coaxed out through the creep-gate by having these creep-feeders in the next paddock.
2. Spread some more fertiliser once ground conditions improve and the weather gets a bit milder.
3. We were going to spray-off early for re-seeding. This will now be put on hold until mid-May and give us another grazing off these fields.
4. As we have some winter fodder left since last year in the form of round bale silage and hay, there will be no big rush to close up ground for this year's crop.