Thanks to average, yet improving, weather conditions over the last week the current grass growth average for GB has risen this week to 45.2kg DM/ha/day. This figure remains significantly below the 2021 average of 56.9kg DM/ha/day, and the 6-year average of 55kg DM/ha/day. Considerable variation in growth rates is present across regions due to some areas experiencing less rainfall. The Southeast saw the largest increase in grass growth of +12kg DM/ha/day, while the Northeast saw a decline of -15kg DM/ha/day.
Milk Yield from Grazing (MYFG)
Average MYFG has decreased considerably this week to M+6.1litres/day versus last week’s figure of M+10.8litres/day. The decline on last week’s figure can be attributed to a reduced averaged potential grass dry matter intake of -2.2kg/day alongside a slight increase in dry matter.
Managing Grass & Energy Supply
A large variation in grass quality can be seen this week, with some samples analysing ME as low as 10.6MJ/kg DM, ultimately affecting potential MYFG. For accurate rationing, farms should look to have pasture frequently, analysed with buffer feeding optimised to support the energy content of rations as well as DMI where reduced. Good grassland management also works 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. Other considerations to get the most from grass may include:
➢ Tailor buffer rations –Monitor buffer rations throughout the season according to grass qualities and available grazing.
➢ Setting DMI targets – Target specific intakes and supplement accordingly.
➢ Formulate compounds to make the most of grass availability.