Average grass growth for GB has risen to 57.1kg DM/ha/day, thanks to average weather conditions, which have been more conducive to grass growth. This figure remains below the 2020 average of 69kg DM/ha/day but exceeds 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 West Midlands saw the largest increase in grass growth of 12kg DM/ha/day, while the East saw a decline of 11kg DM/ha/day.
Milk Yield from Grazing (MYFG)
Average MYFG has fallen to M+5.9litres/day, a 4.4litres/day drop on the previous week’s average figure. This decrease is mainly due to a reduced potential DMI, which has dropped from 11.9kg/day to 9.8kg/day. This is in combination with a reduction in grass sugar levels from 11.6% DM to 11% DM. In comparison to previous years, 2020 saw a MYFG figure of M+9.42litres/day while the 6-year average shows a figure of M+9.49litres/day.
Regionally, the East has fallen from the highest potential MYFG figure to the lowest average, with a figure of M+2.8litres/day. Scotland saw the highest MYFG average at M+13.9litres/day. However, both regions have a relatively small sample size and consideration should be given towards individual farm sampling.
The last few weeks have seen a rise in excess nitrogen reported in grass. The effects of excess nitrogen in grazing may reduce milk yield by an average of 0.4litres/head/day or up to half a litre in regions such as the East, Wales and the West.
When assessing options to mitigate the effect of excess nitrogen, it is important to consider an optimal balance of rumen degradable protein and fermentable metabolisable energy (FME) in the overall diet. Individual farms should look to have grass analysed to ensure accurate rationing practice and where required consider the addition of an FME source to help balance the diet.
For more information on maximising your homegrown forages potential, speak to our experts on 01829 797 125 or order NWF grass seed online HERE.