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NWF Weekly Grass Watch – 7th June 2021

Grass Growth
Average daily grass growth rates have risen to 81.7kg DM/ha/day, as a result of the continued warm weather. Growth rates continue to be above both the 6-year average of 70kg DM/ha/day and the 2020 average of 52kg DM/ha/day. Scotland saw the greatest grass growth increase of 25kg DM/ha/day, while the North-East saw a fall of 21kg DM/ha/day.

Milk Yield from Grazing (MYFG)
Potential MYFG has risen this week to M+13.2 litres/day, a M+4.5litre/day increase on the previous weeks figure. It is very similar to both the 6-year average, M+13.3 litres/day, and the 2020 average of M+12.9 litres/day. The increase in MYFG can be attributed to a rise in potential grass dry matter intake to 12.6 kg/day and an increase in estimated ME to 11.6 MJ/kg DM. Scotland saw the greatest potential MYFG at M+16.4 litres/day, while the North-East and Yorkshire had the lowest average of M+8.2 litres/day.
This week the sample size for each region was relatively small, therefore it is recommended that individual farms should analyse grass for improved accuracy when rationing.

Feeling “hot, hot, hot”!
Thanks to high temperatures seen across GB over the last week, the average temperature humidity index was 71, representing a mild to high risk of heat stress. The North West and the East saw figures indicating a high risk of heat stress and risk of dramatic impact on animal health, welfare and performance. With GB forecast warmer than average weather in the coming week, it is once again essential to highlight the importance of management strategies to help mitigate the risk of heat stress:
• Ensure animals have access to ad-lib, clean, fresh drinking water.

  • During hot weather cattle substantially increase their water intake to replace water lost through respiration and perspiration. Water consumption is also the quickest method for cattle to reduce their core temperatures.
    • Ensure animals have access to shade
  • The provision of shade can help cattle manage heat stress, through reducing solar heat load on the animals.
    • Adjust diets accordingly to dry matter intake decreases
  • Through increasing energy density of diets and ensuring there is enough effective fibre to maximise rumination.

For more information on maximising your homegrown forages potential, speak to our experts on 01829 797 125 or order NWF grass seed online HERE.

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