Key June grass advice for beef farmers

Maintaining good quality swards in June is key, according to the Management Notes on grassland management on beef farmers for June prepared by Pat McCambridge College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE).

Cattle performance on grass
Maintain good quality swards during June with entry covers of 3,000kg dry matter per hectare (9-10 cm) and continue to graze down to 1,600kg dry matter per hectare (3-4cm). Store cattle on well managed grass should have an average liveweight gain of 1kg per day. If grass covers get heavy, consider taking areas out for silage or move in extra stock. Another option, is to mow in front of the grazing cattle and return the sward to a more productive leafy state.

Have you store cattle that could finish earlier on grass with some concentrate feeding? The cost of a 100-day finishing period for a 600kg steer is approximately £70 on grass (2kg concentrate per day) and £180 for a silage/concentrate diet (5kg concentrate per day) over a 100-day housing period.

Maintain high-quality grass swards for your suckler herd. This means keeping a 12-14 day supply of grass in front. If the supply drops below 10 days, sow one third of the grazing area with 25kg per hectare of nitrogen (20 units per acre). Alternatively, take paddocks out for silage if grass growth surges ahead in order to reduce the grazing days ahead. Walk the grazing areas at least once per week to assess grazing covers.

Spring-born suckled calves should now be gaining, on average, 1kg per head per day.