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NWF Weekly Grass Watch – 5th August 2022

Grass Growth

This week the average daily grass growth rate for GB is 36.8kg DM/ha/day, an 8.7kg DM/ha/day increase on last week’s average. Whilst this figure is still much lower than the growth rates seen for the same period last year (of 46.3kg DM/ha/day as well as, the 6-year average of 48kg DM/ha/day). It is certainly positive to finally see some growth. Significant increases in growth rates are seen across the West Midlands and the Northwest this week thanks to more favourable growing conditions.

Milk Yield from Grazing (MYFG)

Average MYFG has decreased considerably this week to M-2.5litres/day, versus last week’s figure of M+4.7litres/day. This decline on last week’s figure can be attributed to a reduced averaged potential grass dry matter intake of -3.5kg/day. However, very limited MYFG samples were received from all regions. Meaning data could not be reported as an accurate representation of the regions. The low sample numbers are indicating that many farmers have already brought cows in or are feeding significant amounts of buffer ration to compensate for low grass yields. Managing silage stocks will be of utmost importance going into the winter and stocks must be accurately measured. We would recommend regular, individual farm analysis to enable accurate rationing practice.

Grass Quality

  • With average sugar levels dropping this week to 8.2% DM in combination with an increased average crude protein (CP) concentration (20.4% DM), the ratio of sugar to CP could be compromised.
  • As a result, nitrogen use efficiency in the rumen may be suboptimal. Individual farms should look to analyse samples and monitor NFEPB values to mitigate the effects of excess nitrogen on performance.
  • If a fresh grass sample is high in fermentable protein and low in fermentable carbohydrates, careful consideration must be given to the supply of fermentable carbohydrates in concentrate to safely balance the rumen.

Source:  Trouw Nutrition

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