Forage for Knowledge

Make the most of your farm's potential with the latest regional grass growth and quality data and analysis, updates and resources.

Stay updated with the latest advice to make informed decisions, whether it's about adding an extra paddock for silage and assessing its impact on demand or ensuring that the growth rate aligns with your requirements.

Utilise the grass growth wedge to gauge potential surpluses or deficits and adjust your strategies accordingly.

Access the Forage For Knowledge database and resources to effectively manage risks and enhance your decision-making process.


Latest grass growth data

Use the interactive dashboard to view the latest regional grass growth and quality data.

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Grass growth commentary and advice

Pasture to Profit consultant Piers Badnell will provide comments (usually, every two weeks) throughout the main grass growing season. Read the latest below.

6 June 2024

Strong growth continues, but signs indicate we may be past the peak. Cooler weather and heading in late-heading perennials are contributing factors.

Nearly all farms in the Forage for Knowledge programme report growth above 6065 Kg DM/ha. With an entry cover of 2800 Kg DM/ha, a rotation of 2021 days is achievable.

A slight note of caution for those on free-draining, light soils. Monitor soil moisture and temperatures to predict growth over the next few weeks.

To navigate heading with minimal impact, use a 20/21-day rotation and remove paddocks for surplus. At an entry cover of 2800 Kg DM/ha, average covers should range from 2100 to 2200 Kg DM/ha.

Some contributors report higher figures, indicating either higher entry covers or the inclusion of paddocks ready for cutting.

Ensure these are set aside as silage to maintain accurate figures. At this time of year while the ryegrass is heading there is the potential for quality decline.

Proper management of entry cover, residuals and average cover is crucial to maintaining grass quality and milk yield, avoiding reliance on concentrates.

Entry covers above 3000 Kg DM/ha, particularly over 3200, will compromise grass quality and milk production.

Farms on very heavy land are still dealing with wet conditions, leading to high average covers. Manage this by cutting surplus for silage or mowing post-grazing to reset residuals and the grazing platform.

There are five months left of the grazing season as soon as you can reset do so to profit from those five months.

The autumn calving cows I have seen on farm this week are in very good condition, with no thin cows observed, even among first lactation cows.

Spring-calving cows show good submission and bulling rates. Plan for sweeper bulls by ensuring they are tested for sperm count and health, and have sound feet. Consider their fitness, as lame or unfit bulls can underperform.

Prepare bulls for the breeding season by walking them along tracks a few weeks in advance. This helps identify any foot problems early and ensures bulls are fit for work.

By managing entry covers and average covers carefully, and preparing bulls effectively, you can optimise grass quality and maintain milk yield throughout the season.

Disclaimer

This data set also includes grass growth and quality data from the AHDB-sponsored beef and sheep GrassCheck GB contributors in England.


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