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NWF Weekly Grass Watch

Grass Growth
Grass growth across Great Britain has declined for the 5th consecutive week, averaging 44kg DM/ha/day, which is 7kg DM/ha/day less than last week. Compared to the same period in 2019, grass growth is 12kg DM/ha/day lower. The largest decline was recorded in the East Midlands, with a decrease of 14kg DM/ha/day. The South East growth rates remained equal to last week, averaging at 35kg DM/ha/day. The highest growth rates were recorded in Scotland which averages 63kg DM/ha/day, whereas the lowest growth rates were recorded in the North East with an average of 26kg DM/ha/day.

Milk Yield from Grazing (MYFG)
The average MYFG has significantly decreased this week to M+5.78 litres/day, which is M+8.9 litres/day below last week’s M+14.68 litre/day and similar to last year results. Figures can predominantly be explained by the 3.77kg DM/day decrease in potential dry matter intake from grazing compared to the previous week. The highest potential MYFG was recorded in the North West at M+6.6 litres/day, whilst the lowest figure was recorded for Scotland at M+4.8 litres/day.

*The lab at Trouw received a large number of samples from Wales and the West, accounting for 37% of total samples. No samples were received from the North East and Yorkshire and therefore Trouw is unable to advise on potential MYFG. This highlights the need for caution when interpreting these figures. Submission of individual farm samples is encouraged to improve the accuracy of the data and reduce regional skews.

Heat Stress
Last week, with an average temperature-humidity index (THI) of 71 the risk of heat stress was almost high. The North East and Yorkshire had an average THI of 77, resulting in a close to severe risk of heat stress. Warm weather is forecast across GB for the coming week, with southern and central area expected to have very hot conditions with a high risk of heat stress. It is important to proactively implement measures to reduce the immediate impacts of heat stress:

  • Access ad-lib, clean and fresh drinking water.
  • In high temperatures, cattle can require double the amount of water due to losses through increased respiration and perspiration.
  • Adjust diets according to dry matter intake decreases.
  • DMI falls when cows become heat-stressed and therefore it is recommended to increase the energy density of diets and ensure there is enough effective fibre to maximize rumination.
  • Access to shade.
  • Shade reduces the solar heat load and helps cattle to cope.
  • Balance for positive DCAD.
  • As a positive DCAS has the opposite effects to a negative DCAD in dry cow rations, balancing can aid in retaining key cations, such as sodium and potassium. The risk of heat stress-induced acidosis is reduced as cations control the acid-base balance in the rumen

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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