The Dairy Edge Podcast Archive
Grassland researcher, Mike Egan, summarises the autumn grazing management guidelines to maximise the amount of grazed grass in the diet of dairy cows in the autumn period.
Right now, farmers should be extending rotation length by 2 days per week and building cover.
Mike gives an insight into a grazing experiment looking at altering grazing management practices in autumn and examining the effects on animal performance and grassland in both the autumn and spring.
Mike explains that where herds are carrying high stocking rates on the milking platform and calving more compactly (reflected in higher 6 week calving rates), they need to consider closing the farm earlier and at a higher cover.
For more information:
Dairy specialist Joe Patton has advice on creating a fodder reserve to reduce the risk to farm businesses in the event of future adverse weather events.
Firstly, farmers need to quantify the total grass production on their farm. Following this, stocking rate should be calculated allowing 5.5 tonnes of grass should be allowed per cow.
Optimal stocking rate does not account for any surplus or reserve within systems and therefore, a reserve must be purchased. An average reserve of 400 kg DM/cow (2 bales) in areas of low grass growth variability and 600 kg DM/cow (3 bales) in areas of high grass growth.
For more information: Securing A Reserve Of Quality Forage On Dairy Farms (PDF)