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NWF Weekly Grass Watch – 6th August 2021

Grass Growth

Daily grass growth for GB remains below the 6-year and 2020 averages this week at 46.3kg DM/ha/day, although it is a slight increase on the previous week’s figure. With more rain continued to be forecast, growing conditions should become more conducive of grass growth.
The West Midlands and the North-East saw the greatest increase in daily grass growth rates, averaging 11 and 13kg DM/ha/day respectively. Meanwhile, the South-East experienced the largest decline of 6kg DM/ha/day.

Milk Yield from Grazing (MYFG)

Average MYFG has continued to fall, averaging M+6.5litres/day, which is considerably lower than the 2020 average of M+14.7litres/day. This drop in potential MYFG is due to a further fall in potential grass dry matter intake at 9.7kg/day versus the previous week’s figure of 11.1kg/day.
The East saw the highest potential MYFG figure at M+15.2litres/day, while the North-West saw the lowest potential MYFG figure at M+4.3litres/day. However, this data is taken from a relatively small sample size for most regions, and it is important for individual farms to analyse grass to improve accuracy when rationing.

Grass Quality

From this point in the season, lower average sugar levels (8.6 % DM) in combination with a higher average crude protein (CP) concentration (21.7% DM) are typically seen and can result in a compromised ratio of sugar to CP. As a result, nitrogen use efficiency in the rumen may be suboptimal and 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.

Good grassland management continues to be encouraged to optimise grazing quality. This may include the monitoring of sward heights to ensure target entry and residual covers are achieved, managing rotation lengths, paddocks within a rotation and stocking densities.

Source:  Trouw Nutrition

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