Daily grass growth has continued to decline this week, averaging 42.6kg DM/ha/day. The 11.9kg DM/ha/day decrease on last week’s figure is due to conditions that are less conducive for grass growth. The average has dropped below the 6-year average of 48kg DM/ha/day and is significantly lower than the 2020 average of 56kg DM/ha/day.
Apart from the South-East and the East, all regions have seen a decline in grass growth. The West Midlands and Yorkshire saw the largest fall of 27kg DM/ha/day and 19kg DM/ha/day, respectively.
Milk Yield from Grazing (MYFG)
Average MYFG has decreased considerably to M+8.4litres/day, versus M+16litres/day the previous week. This is also slightly below the 6-year average of M+9.6litres/day, yet the same as the 2020 average of M+8.4litres/day.
This decline can be attributed to a reduced averaged potential grass dry matter intake of -2.8kg/day alongside a fall in estimated ME to 10.9MJ/kg DM. However, most regions had a relatively small sample size and individual farm analysis is recommended to enable accurate rationing practice. Unfortunately, no samples were received for the East.
With the recent significant decline in grass growth seen across most regions, grazing deficits may be an issue. It is essential that good grassland management strategies are used to optimise grazing quality. The metabolisable energy content of grass has dropped to 10.9MJ/kg DM, which corresponds to the fall in sugar content to 8.5% DM (versus the previous week’s figure of 9.3% DM). Grass energy content can be controlled by maintaining swards with high perennial ryegrass content and ensuring target entry and residual covers are achieved. Other considerations to maximise grass quality and grass utilisation include managing rotation lengths and ensuring stocking densities are optimal.