Maintaining spring grazing intervals and increasing nitrogen use helps manage pasture base
The MDF feed margin performance has continued similarly to last period, with grass per hectare, grass per cow, milk per cow, and margins very similar.
The grazing rotation is the number one priority, which we have set at 30-days. This could be considered long for spring, but has these advantages:
- Dry matter production is very high, maintaining a strong feed wedge in front of the herd.
- Perennial ryegrass quality is still reasonable, with spring growth driving low cost milk production.
- A long rotation allows control of weedy, seeding or too long pasture by strategically cutting silage, and allowing the herd to move past to higher quality paddocks.
- By cutting high volume silage off poorer paddocks, and directing herd intake to fresher pastures, all grass is utilised, weeds are opportunistically controlled, and the herd milk production is optimised.
- A 30 day rotation is readily achievable in spring, and allows grasses to recover to the 3 leaf stage.
In addition to the 30 day rotation, the higher rate of N (1.5 kg/ha/day) has positively affected grass production, with beneficial effects also being attributed to the spinner cuts, which reduce the de-nitrification effects of water-logging.