The following are some grazing tips which cumulatively could have a large effect:
- Don’t follow milkers with any other stock
This means no bulls, no young stock, no dries; they will eat off the early regrowth well before any rough stuff that might want to be “cleaned up.” This will dramatically reduce regrowth speed and set the paddock back for the next rotation.
- Don’t graze a paddock at less than 2.75 leaves even if it is seed heading.
Usually not all the paddock is heading at once, and no matter how quickly you come back into a paddock the seedheads will still be there. The dairy herd requires high quality grass for maximum milk production, and should not be made to eat ryegrass past its best. Seedheading is a major inevitable drawback of ryegrass quality and is best removed by mowing/topping.
- Do not have day and night paddocks; once started, get out of a paddock as soon as possible.
- Heel-test a paddock
This simple test will determine whether it is too soft to graze; wet paddocks and pugging have multiple negative effects.
- If in doubt, top
If 30% of the paddock after grazing has clumps remaining that are higher than 8 cm, top it to 6 cm, at all times of the year, within one day of grazing.
- Conserve silage strategically
If the next paddock is too long, has too many seed heads, or has too much residue underneath for high utilisation, mow and make it into silage immediately.
- Use Rotation Right
If Rotation Right tool says 2.5 feeds, don’t get two or three feeds, get 2.5.
- Don’t force cows to eat poor quality grass, nor graze shorter than 5 cm.
Note that the other farm (Busselton, WA) is still feeding significantly more profitably, although still with no grass.
|FEED MARGIN PERFORMANCE||MDF TEN DAYS AGO||MDF THIS TEN DAYS||ANOTHER FARM||Units|
|Ten days to date:||30-Apr-21||10-May-21||10-May-21|
|Milker graze area||70||72||110||Ha|
|Average graze rest time||32||33||0||Days|
|Estm’d pasture consmp’n||28||27||1||kg DM/ha/day|
|Pasture consum’d per cow||7.0||7.1||0.2||kg DM/cow/day|
|Pasture growing spend||$5.29||$4.79||$0.00||$/ha/day|
|Estm’d pasture price||$189||$176||$0||$/T DM|
|Conc (incl additives)supp fed/cow||6.3||6.3||8.4||kg DM/cow/day|
|Conc (incl additives)supp avg price||$393||$393||$395||$/T DM|
|Hay/silage supp fed/cow||2.3||2.3||12.7||kg DM/cow/day|
|Hay/silage supp price||$222||$222||$271||$/T DM|
|Feed Conversion Efficiency||96||95||100||kg MS/tonne DM|
|Total feed intake/cow||15.0||15.1||20.7||kg DM/cow/day|
|NDF Fibre in diet||30.4%||30.4%||36.0%||% NDF|
|Milk Solids per cow||1.49||1.49||2.14||kg/cow/day|
|Milk price (less levies)/kg MS||$7.00||$7.10||$7.05||$/kg MS|
|Milk price (less levies)/litre||$0.61||$0.61||$0.51||$ per litre|
|All feed cost/cow||$4.30||$4.22||$6.77||$/cow/day|
|Margin over all Feed/cow||$6.14||$6.35||$8.32||$/cow/day|
|MOAF /ha /day||$24.57||$24.51||$24.36||$/ha/day|
|Farm MOAF per DAY||$1,720||$1,765||$2,680||$/day|
|Feed cost $/kg MS||$2.88||$2.83||$3.16||$/ kg MS|
|Proportion of grazed grass in diet||47%||47%||1%||%|