Clear out residuals on grazing platforms

Poor residuals on some grazing platforms this month could be the hangover from spring’s cold spell, quickly followed by sudden warmth and phenomenal grass growth.

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While it stays dry, it’s an ideal time to clear the sward base, says LIC consultant Piers Badnell.

“Once it rains and autumn growth takes off again, it will be hard trying to take this rubbish out in October”, he warns.

Understanding how the grass plant grows with the importance of re-setting the residual to stimulate quality regrowth – and looking at typical grass growth curves showing an autumn flush – is important when understanding management under such conditions, he explains.

“Graze it hard, then follow with the mower to cut down to 4–5 cm for quality regrowth if you have significant rejection. If you leave old rejection sites, on the last round, you will only get 10–11 ME grass through the sward profile.

Cows will either leave this, or if they eat it, remember that intakes of 16 kgDM will result in 16 MJ ME less energy and either milk yield, or body condition can be affected.”