Archive: Transition to outwintering crops

Published 7 November 14

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Transitioning cows to outwintering crops.

Piers Badnell, DairyCo technical extension officer, gives brief top tips on successfully moving cows to outwintering crops.

  • Check you have enough dry matter to match stock numbers. The growing season has been excellent in most areas, so it may be a case of having more than you expected. Helen Mathieu’s article on assessing outwintering crops demonstrates how to estimate crop yield.
  • Introduce the stock slowly, over a week, to allow them to adapt and ensure they utilise the crop fully.
  • Get the balance between allocation and utilisation right. This may mean allocating a larger area once a week or so, to see how cattle utilise it. This will give you an idea of whether or not you are correctly allocating and fulfilling their needs.  
  • For more information about allocating and managing outwintering crops, read the article ‘Now is the time to assess outwintering crops’ by Helen Mathieu.