Forage for Knowledge – September 2021 reminders

Top tips for getting the best out of your grass this autumn:

  • Follow your Autumn Rotation Planner
  • Aim to have as many grazing days as possible this autumn, to save on winter housing and feed costs
  • Keep quality grazed grass as a high proportion of the diet
  • Work out how much grass you need to grow in the next 4–6 weeks in order to achieve the highest average farm cover (AFC) target
  • Build cover by manipulating demand, putting supplementary feed in, or dropping demand off the milking platform by getting rid of culls
  • Clean out paddocks now by getting a good residual in order minimise dead material at the bottom of the sward and, reduce spoilage
  • September is your last chance to get on top of your paddocks: those that have been topped once this season should be grazed off, as clumpy dung patches will be edible. However, cows won’t eat long, rank grass with seedheads, so it will need to be mown
  • If it turns wet, use on/off grazing to cope where conditions become challenging
  • Autumn Block Calving herds with low-protein, first cut silages, are going to milk off them this winter, you will need to plan ahead to balance the shortfall with cost-effective supplements. Remember that feed bought in advance will be quickly used up and future purchases may be at spot prices
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