13 June 1997

Growth level good

GRASS is growing at between 65 and 100kg/ha DM a day, close to average growth rates, writes NZ grazing consultant Paul Bird.

Heavy rain has fallen in some counties this week and growth is expected to continue at a good level in these areas. Stocking rates required to maintain grass cover are about four to six cows a ha (1.6-2.4/acre), assuming grass intakes of 14-17kg/ha DM a day.

When grass on the grazing ground is surplus to requirements, now is the time to graze this off. Mowing in front of the cows before they graze can ensure high utilisation and high quality regrowth.

Now that first cut silage is all off, start thinking of the farm as a grazing block. When the cows need a larger area to graze because growth rates are slowing, give it to them. Do not shut up areas of second cut just because they have always been second cut. Shut up what is surplus and graze the rest. With fluctuating growth rates, the area for second cut may need to be modified before cutting. &#42