Teagasc Green Acres Newsletter: Issue 7
This issue of the Teagasc Green Acres Calf to Beef Programme e-Newsletter has an update on Richard Long's farm; key management tips; meal supplementation and silage quality; and winter housing.
Issue 7 - 26 October 2021
Richard Long, Ballymacarbry, Co. Waterford - Farm Update
The grazing season is all but completed here, with just weanlings and some of the lighter store cattle at grass to finish up the remaining areas of the autumn rotation planner. The farm here is high and exposed – reaching 1,000ft above sea level - and, on account of this, very low grass growth rates are witnessed over the winter period.
To ensure that I can build grass cover for next spring, I plan on having the entire farm closed by mid-November. This may even be earlier if weather conditions go against us and ground becomes too challenging to graze.
Key Management Tips
- Close grassland areas in accordance with the autumn rotation planner.
- Continue to supplement spring-born calves with concentrates up until housing.
- Complete a silage test to evaluate silage quality on farm.
- Administer a pre-housing dose to weanlings prior to housing to allow lungs a sufficient time to recover.
- Monitor performance of finishing stock being supplemented at grass and draft where possible.
- Complete a pre-housing weighing on all stock to evaluate performance levels over the grazing season.
- Ensure sheds are set up and ready for housing animals
Meal supplementation and silage quality
The vast majority of winter finishing regimes centre on two key feedstuffs – grass silage and concentrates. To ensure animal performance is maximised over the winter finishing period, the levels of concentrate feeding offered must be balanced with the quality of silage available on farm.
Providing finishing animals with an appropriate environment is another important factor to consider with winter finishing. In instances where the correct levels of nutrition are provided, below levels of animal performance could be achieved due to inadequate housing conditions. When assessing the housing facilities on farm, there are a number of important elements to consider.
The Teagasc Green Acres Calf to Beef e-Newsletter will issue fortnightly and you can read it here on Teagasc Daily.
Find out more about the Teagasc Green Acres Calf to Beef Programme here