Have you set your grazing targets for the next 100 days?
Grassland farmers are reminded to stick to the mid-season grazing targets to optimise profit from grass; the main grazing goal for the next 100 days is to graze covers of 1,300-1,400kg DM/ha.
The latest Grass10 newsletter provides tips on a number of key targets that farmers need to keep in mind. Firstly, the average farm cover (AFC) should be 600-700kg DM/ha across all enterprises, with a targeted rotation length of 18-21 days.
On dairy farms, the target cover/LU is 160-180kg DM/ha. On drystock farms, the target is 12-14 days grass ahead. It is important to match demand to grass growth and PastureBase Ireland (PBI) shows that growth is surpassing demand. Given this, decisions and actions need to be taken this week to stay on target. When making these decisions, check your PBI records for historic growth rates for your farm. This will help you make decisions on stocking rate, reseeding, silage etc. Remember, spring is the ideal time to complete reseeding. It is also the best time to oversow white clover.
In terms of post-grazing targets, 4cm is desired before stem arrives in two to three weeks.This will ensure excellent quality grass in subsequent rotations. Grazing conditions have been challenging with heavy rain in some parts over the weekend, which has resulted in residuals suffering. Where this has occurred, considered baling paddocks with poor cleanouts when conditions allow.
Use projected planner to make grazing decisions
A projected planner tool is available through PBI and it may be of use as grass growth predictions indicate surplus grass on many farms this week. Using this tool will allow you to plan to ensure animals graze 1,300-1,400kg DM/ha covers. By entering a predicted growth rate, a predicted AFC for the next seven days will be created to provide you with confidence in making your decisions.
This article first appeared as part of the Grass10 Campaign newsletter. For more information on the campaign and to register for future newsletters, click here.