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NWF Weekly Grass Watch

Averaging at 60kg DM/ha/day, -9kg DM/ha/day compared to last week, this week’s grass growth reflects the poorer growing conditions. Though, it is 4kg DM/ha/day greater than the same period in 2019. Once again, the North West saw the highest growth in grass of 78kg DM/ha/day which is 2kg higher than last week’s figure. The lowest figures and biggest changes were seen in the East, averaging at 42kg DM/ha/day, -29kg DM/ha/ day on the week.

Milk Yield from Grazing (MYFG)

Average MYFG has increased this week to M+10.15 litre/day, which is +0.72 litres/day compared to last week’s M+9.43 litres/day. This is 1.9 litres/day below the average figure reported for the same period in 2019, although is comparable to the 6-year average of M+11.19 litres/day. The increase could be attributed to an increase in potential grass DM intake, which for this week averages 11.56kg DM/day (+0.52 kg on last week). Another factor which influences this, is the grass’s dry matter (DM). This week’s DM is 16.22% which is lower than last week’s 17%, and lower than 2019’s average, of 18.71%, for this period. Weather conditions cause significant variation in the DM of grass and where high rain fall has been experienced across the majority of regions this week, reducing DM concentrations. The highest potential MYFG at M+19.1 litres/day was recorded in the East, with the lowest recording in the North East and Yorkshire at M+1.8 litres/day.

*The lab at Trouw has received a large number of samples from Wales and West accounting for 66% of the total sample pool. Only 3% of the total samples were from the North East and Yorkshire, highlighting the need for caution when interpreting these figures.

Grass Quality

Metabolisable energy (ME) of grass has dropped this week to 11.33 MJ/kg DM, compared to last weeks figures of 11.53MJ/kg DM. The change could be attributed to a drop in the sugar content from 7.39%DM last week, to 5.98% DM this week. In combination with high crude protein (CP) concentrations of 23.6%, the ratio of sugars to CP is optimal for rumen nitrogen use efficiency.

Loss of milk from excess rumen nitrogen is reported at 0.66 litres/day and therefore control strategies may be needed to minimise losses in production. Feeding fermentable sources of energy, to optimise the balance of effective rumen degradable protein (ERDP) and fermentable metabolisable energy (FME), is a potential strategy.

Call our grass seed experts on 01829 797 125, or view the NWF Grass Seed Brochure HERE.

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