Archive: Farmer technical comment - David Lee

Published 1 August 14

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David Lee milks 320 spring calving cows on 89ha grazing platform, with 12ha maize and 12ha whole crop. Well timed rain helped grass growth rates across the season.

Grass supply

Average Farm Cover       2,290kg

Pre-grazing cover            3,000kg

7-day grass growth          66kg DM/ha/day

Herd grass demand         50kg DM/ha/day

Cow performance

Milk yield                             1.47kg MS

Concentrate feed level           2kg/day

“We’ve had two inches of rain in the past fortnight, which helped things immensely,” says David. “It’s pretty dry now though and, if we don’t get some rain soon, we’ll start to run out of grass.

“On the whole, growth has been quite steady across the season. We have had a few weeks of 40kg of DM/ha, but we’ve also had quite a few in the 80-90kg range.

“We’ve had two cuts of silage already and are just about ready to go on a third. I have pretty much come to the conclusion that, in this area and on our soil type, maize is a rather expensive and unreliable option. I can get more quality forage from the same area with just grass,” David concluded.