Have a wet weather plan – especially
for the first rotation. Failure to plan is planning to fail.
Consider the following key
points this Spring:
Know how many square metres each cow is being allocated per day.
Useful rules of thumb:
- 40 square metres at 3500Kg DM/ha will offer 10 Kg DM/cow.
- 40 square metres at 2500Kg DM/ha will offer 6 kg DM/cow.
- 40 square metres /cow at a stocking rate of 2.5 cows/ha is a 100 day
- 33 square metres /cow at 3500 Kg DM /Cow will offer 8.25 DM/cow
- 33 square metres a cow at a stocking rate of 3 cows /ha is a 100 day
If cows are going into covers of 3000+ KgDM/ha, three hours of grazing
provides maintenance only.
Be proactive in any dry spells of weather – reduce cow’s grazing areas
and increase supplement.Always start grazing at the back of the paddock; and in wet weather
you may go all grass:
- Block grazing in the winter and early spring – always have square
blocks if possible.
- Add up the area eaten each week to ensure you are on the appropriate rotation.
Check feed levels regularly:
- Measure covers for paddocks the cows are going into – you need to know
what you are feeding and if you are catching up on your feed.
- Double check supplement usage (especially stacks) – it’s very easy to
be using too much.
On-off grazing is a great way to prevent soil and pasture damage, and
- Use stand-off areas and sacrifice paddocks when it is prudent to do
- When grazing sensitive soil or catchment areas – use buffer areas of
grass around crops.
- Feed the last break of the crop bordering that sensitive area on the
last day – or don’t even graze it.
Diet and nutrition:
- In wet weather, pasture
utilisation drops – allow more pasture.
- The DM% of pasture also drops –
cows will need DRY matter – hay, baleage, straw, grain, PKE etc. 1 bale per 100 to 200 cows really helps with
low DM% pasture.
- Ensure that your cows have
sufficient energy and fibre – protein is usually fine.
- Keep Mg and Ca going to milkers
and colostrums – 100-200 gms/cow of each.
Fertiliser and soils:
- Use a plane or helicopter to
spread fertiliser if conditions do not allow trucks or tractors on to the land.
- ProGibb can be a spray option
if N can also be applied at the same time.
- A little and often behind the
cows with a bike spinner adding Urea, Ammo etc will also help keep feed moving
for the 2nd and subsequent rounds.
- Protect soil structure at the
cost of having to clean up higher residuals in later rounds (mow then if