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NWF Weekly Grass Watch – 17th September 2021

Grass Growth

Due to more favourable conditions the average daily GB grass growth has increased this week to 40.8kg DM/ha/day. This figure is below the 6 year and 2020 averages of 47kg and 57kg DM/ha/day respectively. Majority of regions saw a slight increase or no change in daily grass growth rates. The West Midlands and Wales experienced the greatest increases at +14kg and +8kg DM/ha/day respectively.

Milk Yield from Grazing (MYFG)

Average MYFG has continued on a downward trend this week, averaging M+0.8litres/day, a figure that remains lower than the 2020 average of M+1.3litres/day and the 6-year average of M+2.2litres/day for the same period. The decline in average potential MYFG can be accredited in part to the fall in potential grass DMI from 7.5kg/day to 7.2kg/day, but also because of a drop in grass sugar levels (5.9 versus 6.0% DM). As a side note it is important to highlight the small sample size received from all regions, with no samples received from the East, West or Wales. Therefore, we encourage individual farms to analyse samples for better rationing accuracy.

Grass Staggers Risk

Some regions this week have experienced higher grass growth which indicates the beginning of the autumn flush. It is important to ensure adequate magnesium is being supplied within the diet to help minimize the seasonal risk of grass staggers, especially in Autumn calvers. As well as high potassium and low magnesium levels within lush pastures, the risk of grass staggers is also heightened by the naturally lower sugar contents of grazing, during this time of year.

Source:  Trouw Nutrition

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