Following last week’s extreme heatwave, average grass growth across GB has fallen significantly with the country average at 32.4kg DM/ha/day. Many regions saw a drop in grass growth, with the West Midlands falling by 21kg DM/ha/day to the lowest average across the country of 16kg DM/ha/day. With varied rainfall forecast across the country, grass growth recovery will differ significantly on individual farms, making it hugely important to carefully manage the grass to help improve the quality and future grazing availability.
Milk Yield from Grazing (MYFG)
This week, as expected, the NDF content of grass has increased which has reduced potential DMIs and ultimately potential MYFG. The GB average has fallen to M+1.1litres/day, a stark contrast to the highest overall MYFG figure seen last year of M+16litres/day for the same week.
Supporting Cows for Grazing Success
• Lack of energy is the main constraint cows experience whilst out at grass, typically due to limits on total intakes. As a result, excess body condition loss in early lactation, poor fertility, shortened lactations and generally poor performance indicators may be seen.
• As the quantity of grass is likely to be a limiting factor given current growing conditions across most of the country, it is important to manage buffer feeding correctly to meet requirement energy levels for expected performance.
• Based on the GB average MYFG figure and potential DMI, cows on full-time grazing intaking a moderate 12.5kg DMI of grazed grass will require an additional concentrate supplementation of 5.3kg or 7.4kg based on an 11.5MJ/kg DM compound to achieve M+25 and M+30 litres/day, respectively.