Comment on grass growth and analysis results 24 April 2015

Published 24 April 15

Grass growth rates are temperature driven and this week’s results reflect increases across the board. Where temperatures have been higher, generally in the south, growth rates are higher and, while just two weeks ago they were below seasonal averages, we’re now noticeably above, says Piers Badnell, DairyCo technical extension officer.

Be aware of these quickly rising grass growths, and be aggressive with separating paddocks out for silage now, which means you will be back grazing that area in about three weeks. If you were to take it all out in one chunk in May,  you could be hitting a drier patch, and thus making regrowth slower and you’re left with a post first cut hunger gap.

With good growth and higher DM values, meaning higher intakes, make sure you keep an eye on CP levels. If you are supplementing, challenge what protein you are supplying, as there might be an opportunity to reduce levels. With grass making up a higher percentage of the diet, keep tabs on CP levels and make sure you’re not oversupplying protein in their  diet.

The good ME levels combined with high DM values,  show the opportunity grass provides at the moment. Even with rain forecasted in many areas for the coming week, the potential is still there. Just make sure residuals are hit to utilise as much grazing as possible.