Use a Grass Budget to plan your 1st rotation in 2023
A grass budget is a plan used to map out grazing and reach targets in order to extend grazing at the shoulders of the year. It uses information specific to your farm to allow you to monitor grass supply and allocate supplement level. This is an extract from a spring budget for a dairy farmer on free draining soils, stocked at 2.8 LU/Ha on the milking platform. Using this farmers calving data, coupled with Opening Average Farm Cover and predicted grass growth based on spring growth on his farm for the last number of years we can generate a budget.
Step 1- Complete an opening farm cover (AFC) for your farm
Step 2- Create a feed budget, entering in the dates for start & finish, AFC at start of budget, farm area that you are working off and region or “my farm” for growth rates.
Step 3- Estimate what animals per week you will have grazing throughout the period of the grass budget.
For dairy farmers or beef farmers, ICBF or farm management apps will give you weekly breakdown of calving’s per week. For sheep, consult your scanning results.
Step 4- Enter in grass allocations and supplement levels in order to keep your farm in line with the target AFC.
The higher the stocking rate on the farm, the higher the supplement levels & the opening AFC will need to be as we transition from a time of low growth rates to high growth rates. See Appendix 1 below.