Efficient pasture-based dairy farming is a balance between managing the pasture for maximum yield and managing the cow to maximize milk solids, production and reproduction. The Irish climate, while temperate, is highly seasonal. Grass growth follows a similar seasonal pattern with peak growth occurring in early summer.
Teagasc has developed a number of tools for use by farmers to manage grass quality and yield throughout the grazing season.
These tools are:
- The Spring Rotation Planner (PDF)
- The Summer wedge (PDF)
- Autumn Grazing Planner (PDF)
Assessing grass visually takes experience. The following PDF contains pictures of different stages of grass cover normally available for dairy cows (Taken from Teagasc Dairy Manual page 304):
- Grass Cover Picture (PDF)