Friday, 29 May 2020
If you are confident in your grass measuring and use of AgriNet, take it one step further and improve grassland efficiency by creating more grazing mobs on the same account.
It is possible to monitor six grazing groups on different platforms using a tool within Managing Grass Wedges. However, it only works for grazing blocks that are measured as regularly as the milking platform.
“You need to be confident in your numbers,” says AHDB Dairy Knowledge Exchange Manager Sarah Hurford. “It’s a useful function if you have some away ground for youngstock, or dry cows, and you are measuring it. It’s also possible to set up a second mob if they are grazing a separate section of the milking platform, and I know a farmer who has used it for day and night feeds. It can work for split-block herds, although it won’t work for a leader-follower system as you will be grazing over the same fields.”
While it is also possible to run two farms on the same account, Sarah points out the drawbacks could outweigh the benefits. It is an advantage where one manager is overseeing both farms and it is easier to keep fertiliser records on the same account. But where there are teams of multiple people inputting and using data, there is a bigger risk of confusion and it is better to have separate accounts with permission to view each other’s data.
Sarah explains that setting up additional grazing mobs allows you to tailor growth and demand for individual groups of stock. Each mob creates a grazing wedge – growth, cover, demand and area – that can also be viewed as part of the wider picture, appearing on the same page in a different colour. “The idea is to see the grass availability across whole platforms and all mobs of stock on the farm, then split it according to mob,” she adds.
The function allows you to cater for demand fluctuations within a mob, or add silage to fill a deficit for a group. Reports can be printed for each mob, which is handy for team meetings or putting on the whiteboard for everyone to see. To make comparisons easier, Sarah recommends having no more than four mobs on the same account, allocating them by colour coding and choosing colours that contrast well so are more visible.