Average grass growth across GB has fallen this week to 54.7kg DM/ha/day, although there is a considerable range from a 40kg DM/ha/day average in the East and 64kg DM/ha/day average seen in Scotland. With drier weather forecast over the coming week, grass growth rates could continue to decline further where rain fall is limited.
Milk Yield from Grazing (MYFG)
The average MYFG for GB this week has improved on last week’s figure to M+13.3litres/day, thanks to a 2kg increase in potential DMI and an estimated ME figure that has remained relatively constant. Regions such as the Northwest are reporting averages as high as M+16.5litres/day while the East averages the lowest at M+7.2litres/day.
With warmer temperatures expected for many regions over the coming week, it is important to begin considering management practices that mitigate the risk of heat stress.
• Heat stress reduces DMI and can implicate milk production by up to 15%, as well as reduce butterfat levels and reproductive functions:
Access to clean, fresh drinking water:
• During hot weather cattle substantially increase their water intake, to replace water lost through respiration and perspiration. Water consumption is also the quickest method for cattle to reduce their core temperatures.
Access to shade:
• The provision of shade can help cattle manage heat stress, by reducing solar heat load on the animals.
Adjust diets accordingly to dry matter intake decreases:
• Through increasing energy density of diets and ensuring enough effective fibre to maximise rumination.
Use appropriate targeted feed additives that address the root cause of heat stress and induced leaky gut such as Selko /Lactibute.