Spring grazing and silage guides ready

13 Sep, 2018 04:00 AM
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These two guides are available to help dairyfarmers make the most of spring pasture.
Spring grazing decisions have a crucial impact on the amount of pasture grown later in the season.
These two guides are available to help dairyfarmers make the most of spring pasture.

While conditions are variable across the country, spring grazing management and silage are top of mind for dairy farmers as they work to conserve as much quality feed and fibre as possible.

Dairy Australia has two resources to help in the decision-making needed in the spring flush where conditions are favourable.

The resources Ryegrass ù Spring Grazing Management and Quality Pasture Silage, Five Easy Steps offer simple and straightforward guidance to assist farmers in making profitable daily and seasonal decisions.

Dairy Australia's Cath Lescun said at this time of year optimising the amount of pasture grown, eaten and conserved was key.

"With farm businesses facing a feed shortage at the moment, understanding the principles of grazing management are very important and impacts on annual dry matter production and pasture quality," she said.

"Spring grazing management decisions also have a crucial impact on the amount and quality of pasture grown later in the season.

"The perennial ryegrass guide covers ryegrass identification, identifying growth stage based on leaf appearance, pre and post-grazing measures and tools to assist in using this information and getting a good balance between pasture and animal performance."

The silage guide complemented the spring grazing management resource, Ms Lescun said.

"We know that pasture silage is an important source of supplementary feed and that the better the silage quality the better the cow performance," she said.

Tasmanian-based dairy farm manager Wolfie Wagner said the guides were great for staff to have on the dashboard in the ute or in the dairy to review spring grazing principles.

"While there are dry conditions in parts of the country down here in Tassie it's been wet," he said.

"The challenge now is to plan ahead and not damage our pastures, because if we do that it sets us back and puts back our recovery into spring. It pushes spring further away.

"You can't just hope for the best. You can't just assume you'll be right in spring. The reality is we won't see spring until October down here and you need to think about your fodder sources now and plan ahead."D

Download electronic versions of the guides at website dairyaustralia.com.au/feedshortage.

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