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:
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)