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NWF Weekly Grass Watch

Grass Growth
For the 6th consecutive week, grass growth across Great Britain has declined. Averaging at 42kg DM/ha/day, it is 2kg DM/ha/day below last week’s figures and 9kg DM/ha/day lower than the same period last year. The largest decline was recorded in the West Midlands, where grass growth decreased by 15kg DM/ha/day. Whilst the lowest average growth rate was recorded in the North East, at 24kg DM/ha/day. Scotland saw the highest growth rates, averaging at 69kg DM/ha/day, an increase of 6kg DM/ha/day.

Milk Yield from Grazing (MYFG)
As experienced during the same period last year, average MYFG has increased this week to M+7.25 litres/day. The M+1.47 litres/day increase on last week could be attributed to the 0.62kg DM/day increase in potential DM intake from grazing. Similarly, to the previous week, the highest potential MYFG was recorded in the North West at M+10.7 litres/day, whilst Scotland experienced the lowest figures with M-2.0 litres/day from grazing.

*The lab at Trouw received a limited number of samples this week, with a large skew in the reginal samples received. The East accounted for 61% of total samples, whilst no samples were received from the North East and Yorkshire. This highlights 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.

August weather
The weather over the past week has been mixed and although temperatures are expected to cool, we are not out of the woods with regards to heat stress! It is important that measures should be continued to be implemented 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.
  • Intake of water is the fastest way for cattle to reduce their core temperature.
  • 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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