19 June 1998

Grazing paddocks easy with foresight

DIVIDING large fields into grazing paddocks neednt be a headache with a little planning, even where access to water supplies may be limited.

So says Axients Neil Adams who incorporates lie-back areas to allow cows access to water troughs regardless of which paddock is being grazed (diagram 1).

Using semi-permanent electric fencing, fields should be divided up into conveniently sized paddocks.

Addition fencing can be used to sub-divide paddock areas if stocking rates are too low or to control access to grazing (diagram 1, paddocks B1 and B2/C1 and C2). This may require a temporary fence to be erected to form a walkway running adjacent to a semi-permanent fence.

Once paddocks A, B and C have been grazed (diagram 1), introducing a temporary fence across the bottom will provide a second lie-back area, access to paddock D whilst protecting regrowth in paddocks A,B, and C, says Mr Adams.

The same principles applies for both square (diagram 2) and triangular-shaped fields (diagram 3), he adds. Ideally, where running a lie-back area up one side of a large field, start grazing from the area furthest away from the gateway. As the cows move down the field grazed areas can be easily fenced off to protect regrowth, he says.

"The lie-back area obliviates the need for extensive tracks to access grazing areas although grass growth on these areas may suffer.

"It also removes the need for individual water troughs to be placed in paddocks. However, if cows have to walk too far, milk production is likely to suffer," he warns.

To overcome this problem a plastic water pipe could be laid temporarily across closed paddocks to a portable trough mounted on a pallet for easier transporting, he suggests.

Simon Wragg

DIVIDING large fields into grazing paddocks neednt be a headache with a little planning, even where access to water supplies may be limited.

So says Axients Neil Adams who incorporates lie-back areas to allow cows access to water troughs regardless of which paddock is being grazed (diagram 1).

Using semi-permanent electric fencing, fields should be divided up into conveniently sized paddocks.

Addition fencing can be used to sub-divide paddock areas if stocking rates are too low or to control access to grazing (diagram 1, paddocks B1 and B2/C1 and C2). This may require a temporary fence to be erected to form a walkway running adjacent to a semi-permanent fence.

Once paddocks A, B and C have been grazed (diagram 1), introducing a temporary fence across the bottom will provide a second lie-back area, access to paddock D whilst protecting regrowth in paddocks A,B, and C, says Mr Adams.

The same principles applies for both square (diagram 2) and triangular-shaped fields (diagram 3), he adds. Ideally, where running a lie-back area up one side of a large field, start grazing from the area furthest away from the gateway. As the cows move down the field grazed areas can be easily fenced off to protect regrowth, he says.

"The lie-back area obliviates the need for extensive tracks to access grazing areas although grass growth on these areas may suffer.

"They also remove the need for individual water troughs to be placed in paddocks. However, if cows have to walk too far, milk production is likely to suffer," he warns.

To overcome this problem a plastic water pipe could be laid temporarily across closed paddocks to a portable trough mounted on a pallet for easier transporting, he suggests.

Simon Wragg