Grass is the most important, yet often overlooked, resource for livestock production. Well-managed grassland provides the most economic feed throughout the year, either as grazing or conserved forage.
As production costs continue to rise, there is no doubt that well-managed grassland has an increasingly important role in on-farm profitability.
Forage for Knowledge brings you the latest research and advice on grass, forage and soil management to help improve grassland productivity on livestock farms.
Average daily growth rates are still falling steadily, down 3.2 kg DM/ha to 49.7 kg DM/ha, falling behind the 9-year average, 50.3 kg DM/ha. The difference between the current growing conditions across the country is still evident with a difference of 83.7 kg DM/ha noted between the highest growth rates seen in North Shropshire and the lowest growth rates in Norfolk.
Forage for Knowledge contributors in NVZ’s are applying last round of Nitrogen before the close period starts to help maintain growth into autumn. Some areas have received a high level of rainfall and due to poor weather conditions, silage ground has been returned to the grazing rotation for on-off grazing to reduce ground damage.
Many are now opening up silage clamps to support high stocking rate or to fill a gap in the wedge in areas of lower growth rates. As we are now in the middle of September it is important to look at building cover and increasing round length by the end of the month.
The grass quality average data shows:
- DM 18.1%
- ME 11.8 MJ/kg DM
- CP 21.6%
Notice: to those within a Nitrate Vulnerable Zone (NVZ)
15 September is the start of closed period for applying manufactured nitrogen fertilisers to grassland