Arrabawn | April Grazing Tips
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April Grazing Tips

Grass growth from the 1st to the 10th of April is usually around 30kgDM/day while at the end of the month it is likely to average 70kg-90DM/day. This means that we often go from a period of grass shortage to surplus very quickly. At this time of year it is essential to get out and walk the farm. Estimating the average farm cover will help you make the correct decisions over the next few weeks. Below are two examples of grassland situations currently experienced on farms. From now on, we want to consistently feed cows grass covers of 1200-1400kgDM/ha. These covers have a greater proportion of leaf and thus are better quality than covers of more than 2000kgDM/ha which have a greater stem proportion. Feeding cows appropriate covers ensures they reach their potential at peak milk production.

  Highly stocked farm– 3.6 MPSR Lowly stocked farm -2.5 MPSR
Scenario Average farm cover of 450kgDM/ha.

Farm demand = 64kgDM/Day

Farm growth = 65kgDM/day

Daily grass growth meets daily herd demand

 

Cows are consistently going into covers of more than 2000kgDM/ha

Average farm cover of 950kgDM/ha.

Farm demand = 45kgDM/Day

Farm growth = 65kgDM/day

Daily grass growth exceeds daily herd demand

 

Action No formal first cut silage is planned to be taken from the milking platform, instead weekly surpluses should be taken out as bales.

When herd demand matches grass growth it is easier to manage grass and feed adequate covers of 1200-1400kgDM/ha to cows.

 

This farm should close 30% of the milking platform for silage.

This should reduce average farm cover to the target of 500-600kgDM/ha.

Failing to take out these paddocks will result in “an explosion” of grass at the end of the month, rotations will slow down resulting in cows consistently grazing high covers (>2000kgDM/ha) which will impact milk protein and yield.