Grazing Tips for this Week:
Try to hold rotation length at 25 days to maintain a level of grass in the diet during this difficult period of drought.
Walk the farm and calculate a farm cover and cover per livestock unit. Generate a wedge and supplement based on the feed deficit on the farm.
Nitrogen uptake is slow currently. If nitrogen has been spread last round with little or no breakdown and uptake, half rate could suffice next round. This is because there is Nitrogen still awaiting breakdown and uptake present in the soil. Where growth rate is low and grass supply is low, fertiliser spreading should cease.
Continue to meet residuals of 4cm. Avoid topping as its wasting feed available to livestock and will also inhibit regrowth on these paddocks.
Rotation length must be held at 20-25 days.
A dairy farmer should feed concentrates first (up to 6kg/head/day).
If silage reserves are very low on the farm, a buffer feed like palm kernel , soya hulls or a 3 way mix can also aid in supplementing the feed deficit on farms.
Current weather forecasts suggest very little rain is expected over the next ten days.
Farmers can reduce demand by grazing second cut silage ground. Grazing this ground with a strip wire and back fence can extend the rotation and supplement the feed deficit.
Many farms are using the following strategy to reduce demand and extend the rotation: 1/3 diet concentrates, 1/3 diet silage, 1/3 diet grass.