Last week, grass growth across GB saw a large divide in the North versus South despite some welcome rainfall. Regions that are in the South of England have struggled for grass, with many not seeing growth rates higher than 10kg DM/ha/day. Meanwhile, northern regions have seen much better growth rates, with Scotland seeing growth rates of 48kg DM/ha/day.
Milk Yield from Grazing (MYFG)
As a result of good grass growth rates and better quality in the northern parts of GB, average MYFG looks to have improved to M+5.6litres/day. However, it is important to note that more samples were received from the North and therefore individual farms should look to analyse grazing to ensure accurate ration balancing.
While the North sees good grazing availability thanks to favourable growing conditions. Some farms further South are having to utilise precious forage stocks. It is important to consider availability over the winter and essential to start planning now for complementary feed ingredients and getting the most from your forage.
Things to Consider
- Carefully manage swards and rotations, as well as stocking densities – manage expectations of what is actually available from grass.
- Tailor buffer rations –Buffer rations should be adjusted to compensate for low grass grow rates and potential MYFG, utilising alternative feed sources where applicable to conserve forage.
- Setting DMI targets – Target specific intakes and supplement accordingly. If these targets are not reached investigate where the bottlenecks are and how to rectify.
- Formulate compounds to match grass –Using NutriOpt parameters we can balance grass and compound much more effectively-it is vital to regularly get your forage in for analysis.