GRASS growth is above average in most areas, although a large variation still exists ranging from 30 to 70kg DM/ha. Heavy rainfall will mean above average grass growth should continue into September, particularly in the south.
Some freshly calved cows are producing well – 15 to 20 litres – on grazed grass. This milk is either from silage aftermaths or grass that was tightly grazed or mown in July. The farmers getting the benefits from grass now are those that concentrated on grazing management over the last few months and have created quality pasture.
If you want cows to graze, buffer feed needs to be reduced or eliminated first, so the cows have an appetite and need to graze.
If you feel you have lost control of grass quality over the summer, now is the time to focus on building up quality grass for September. The only way to do this is hard grazing or, if you are not prepared to do this, go in with a mower and bottom the pasture to eliminate seed heads and stalks. Do it now.
Ensuring the availability of high quality grass will maximise milk off late summer/autumn grass.