Thursday, 20 September 2018
Average grass growth decreased slightly since last week by just over 3 kg DM/ha to 45.6 kg DM/ha, slightly lower than at the 47 kg DM/ha recorded at the same time last year. There is a range in growth across FFK contributor farms, ranging from 12 to 92 kg DM/ha. As weather conditions become unsettled and soil temperatures drop, growth is declining towards the seasonal average.
The grass quality data shows:
• Energy content (ME) averaging 11.7 MJ/kg DM
• Dry Matter (DM) averaging 17.2%
• Crude protein (CP) content averaging 23.4%
Average ME, DM and CP have declined since the end of August. In comparison to the same time last year, DM is higher whilst CP and ME are lower.
If pasture growth exceeds herds pasture demand, allow average farm covers (AFC) to build a little to around 2400-2500 kg DM/Ha. Only allow AFC to lift if you are certain you will be able to have a herds pasture demand well above growth rates in October to be able to get covers back down.
There is an opportunity for dairy, beef and sheep farms to get involved in a new grass growth and quality monitoring initiative called GrassCheck GB.
It extends the successful GrassCheck from Northern Ireland across Great Britain and is being coordinated by CIEL with funding from AHDB Beef & Lamb, QMS and HCC.
If you are interested, applications forms are available here.
New feature: We've added average farm covers (kg/DM) to the graph represented by the red dots, with the scale on the right.