Helpful tips for excess grass

4 July 1997

Helpful tips for excess grass

SUCKLER producers with excess grass should make silage or hay, reduce fertiliser application, or top.

So says Signet regional manager Brian Taylor. But he cautions that not all producers will be faced with an abundance of grass.

"In the east the rain will probably be just enough to save producers who had run short of grass and were already feeding straw.

"But in other areas, where there is excess grass the aim must be to control it. If its growing too fast to be successfully grazed then producers should cut it or reduce fertiliser application," he says.

Conserving additional grass will help reduce winter feed bills. "Where cows are on straw and concentrate at calving, silage could be used to replace concentrate."

Potential for reducing fertiliser depends on whether the rain has caused a flush of grass.

"Where there has been a flush of grass it would suggest there is nitrogen left in the soil from previous applications. In that situation, producers could choose to reduce subsequent dressings."

Topping is an option where producers dont want to conserve grass or risk reducing fertiliser inputs, says SAC Aberdeen grass specialist David Younie.

"Topping at 8-10cm will stop grass heading and dying off, which reduces digestibility and feed value. It will encourage tillering and maintain sward quality."n

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