Many farmers across Ireland have started building autumn covers, to allow for an extended grazing into October and November.
Covers can be built in a number of ways, with reducing the stocking rate on the milking platform being the most common.
A large number of farmers this year have oversown or reseeded paddocks with clover.
So this year, it is important to note that closing a clover sward in the same way as you would a grass sward will likely have a negative impact on the clover within the sward.
Over the winter farms usually carry a heavy average farm cover to allow for early spring grazing. On paddocks where clover has been sown too heavy however, may result in the clover dying out due to a lack of light, as the grass blocking out the clover plant.
So instead, farmers should have a lighter cover on these paddocks during the winter months.
Ensuring that you are carrying a lighter cover in these swards requires some planning, to guarantee that the paddocks with clover are grazed last this autumn and thus have the lowest covers over the winter.
Although we are a while away from this point yet, it is important to remember that you want to keep on top of clover paddocks.
The clover that was added to swards this year has not yet matured, so it still needs to be looked after.
What is also important to note is that if you have a lower average farm cover over the winter, more silage may be required in the cows’ diets.