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NWF Weekly Grass Watch

Averaging at 56kg DM/ha/day, grass growth has fallen this week due to the less favourable growing conditions. Although, it is a 4kg DM/ha/day decrease on last week’s rate, it is 7kg DM/ha/day greater than the average for the same period in 2019. The North West saw the highest growth rates, achieving 71kg DM/ha/day, an increase of 3kg DM/ha/day compared to last week’s figures. The lowest figures were experienced in the South East, averaging at 37kg DM/ha/day, -9kg DM/ha/ day on the previous week.

Milk Yield from Grazing (MYFG)
Average MYFG has decreased this week to M+8.43 litre/day, which is -5.05 litres/day compared to last week’s M+13.48 litres/day. This is 2.45 litres/day below the average figure reported for the same period in 2019 and 2.68 litres/day lower than the 6-year average. A fall in potential grass DM intake, which averaged 10.23kg DM/day (-2.37 kg on last week) could contribute to the decreased MYFG figure. The highest potential MYFG, at M+18.6 litres/day, was recorded in the Scotland, whilst the lowest recording was M-0.2 litres/day in the North East and Yorkshire.
*The lab at Trouw has received a large number of samples from the North West, accounting for 34% of total samples. Scotland, Wales and the West each accounted for 13% of all samples received, highlighting the need for caution when interpreting these figures. Submission of individual farm samples is encouraged to improve. accuracy of the data and reduce regional skews.

Butterfat factors
Similar to last year, acid load figures have been steadily declining since May. However, this week acid load is high at 37, and therefore greater than the figures for the same period in the last 2 years. High acid load can cause a reduction in ruminal pH, impacting on microbial populations and causing a reduction in butterfat production. There are several options to consider where these risk factors are high:

Offer straw or fibrous forages in buffer rations:

  • Helps to promote rumination, stimulate saliva production, and support the creation of optimal rumen conditions required for microbes that produce acetate.
  • Inclusion of live yeast cultures at the recommended feeding rates:
  • Helps to remove oxygen from the rumen which will improve the conditions for fibre digesting bacteria and increase the fibre digestibility and acetate production for butterfat yields.
  • Addition of rumen buffers:
  • Help to maintain optimal pH conditions required for acetate-producing microflora.

For more information on NWF Grass Seeds, call our traded products team on 0800 756 2787 or download the 2020 NWF Grass Seed Brochure HERE.

Source: Trouw Nutrition.

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