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Weekly update

  • Still a tale of those who have (and those who haven’t) had sufficient rain, says Piers Badnell, LIC consultant. Very little soil moisture over most of the country and none at depth. With little significant rain in the forecast, what to do? Those with good growth above 60kg DM/ha, dig a hole and see how much moisture is there. Make a plan accordingly to bring supplements in slowly and early, always the best way.
    •  Those with low growth rates below true demand, drop the demand and lengthen the rotation. For example, a growth rate of 45kg DM/ha/day is a 29-day round as it will take 45 days to grow back from residual to 2,800kg DM/ha. Aim to get as much of the third leaf you can, as this contributes 45% of yield. If your round is too quick e.g. 21 days, you will run out of grass, which then takes longer to regrow.

    • If feeding silage in the paddock, aim to spread thinly if using a wagon (as fast as you can drive when discharging). These thin lines reduce scorch and sward damage from silage and feet. Alternately, a cleaned, rear-discharge muck spreader works well, giving a “light coating” of silage on the sward.

    • We are through heading, so any tired paddocks with rejection sites, either pre-mow and graze or post-mow to take the rubbish out because when the rain comes – which it will – we want quality regrowth. Protect average farm cover; don’t go lower than 2,000kg DM/ha as, when it rains, it will take a lot longer to come back.

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