Grass advice: Dealing with low growth and stem

Despite cold weather growth rates have improved slightly this week, depending on farm fertility and location.

It is crucial that we continue spreading fertiliser during periods of low growth to maximise plant energy and minimise stress.

Dealing with stem growth

There is a lot of stem coming into some swards, even at low covers of 700-800. These paddocks must be targeted for early grazing to clean off.

By targeting these paddocks before stem further develops, we will maintain higher energy in the swards and minimise the milk production drop over the next month.

When walking the farm, look as much at the quality of the grass as the cover itself. With growth rates beginning to creep above demand, we can correct some of the poor quality covers by taking out surplus bales.

Fertility

I was on a farm with low P levels yesterday, 23-10-0 was spread for the last rotation, grass colour and regrowths were exceptional.

When we ‘limit our limiting factors,’ we increase grass quality and growth rates.

Plant stress was minimal and cleanout was very good. Farmers must address any deficiencies we have on farm if the target is 450kgMS/cow and up to 1500kgMS/ha from an efficient cost base.

Reducing KgsMS drop

  • Pre grazings covers not to exceed 1500kgs
  • Make surplus bales from covers > 1500kgs/ha
  • These bales can be used during a feed deficit later in year
  • Maintain an 18-21 day rotation
  • Target residual of 50kgs/ha
  • Try to make cows work hard once per milk collection (36hr grazings)

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