HIGH index cows at grass may require lower stocking rates to support good performance.
Studies at Moorepark show that HGI cows performed well on a grass system, although stocking rates must be lower because of higher intakes, says Pat Dillon.
"To boost HGI cows intakes it is probably easier to supplement with concentrates rather than get involved with the intricacies of changing grass management.
"To accommodate a cow with an RBI of 135, compared with one with an RBI of 100 and claim the benefit of extra milk production from grazed grass and grass silage, would mean reducing stocking rates by 15-20%," he says.
Maintaining a consistently good sward would then depend on the grazing management skills of producers. *