Is Rotational Grazing for you?
By P&L Agriconsulting, Feb 14 2018 03:46PM
Does Rotational Grazing suit my farm?
There is a very strong correlation between farms that graze grass efficiently and those that achieve much higher than average profitability per hectare, this is amongst dairy, beef and sheep farms.
There are several options when grazing eg. rotational grazing, set stocking or strip grazing. However there is a recent move in the UK to more rotational systems, this is proven to produce higher volumes of grass per hectare.
When setting up a rotational grazing system, the following areas must be considered:
Daily grass demand- this may change throughout the season, for example with suckler cows and calves, has animal growth rates increase throughout the season.
Infrastructure- what Is the easiest way to split fields or utilise the existing water troughs, costs can be saved by using electric fencing rather than permanent structures.
Measuring Grass- ideally grass should be measured on a weekly basis with a plate meter, which measures both the height of the grass and the density. Could you get funding for one of these on the recently introduced RDPE small grant scheme? This information can then be entered in to grazing tools and used to make key decisions, such has fertiliser applications and supplementary feeding volumes.
Rotational grazing will help to open-up the sward and encourage ryegrass growth, so having the cleanest and newest grass varieties is not a necessity, especially at the beginning of this process.
Don’t be afraid to make changes throughout the season, for example during the highest growth periods, paddocks can be taken out for silage. Whilst near the end of the season extra fields can be bought into the rotation when grass growth slows and preserved forage has been made.
The challenge is to plan and set up your system now so that you can utilise grass in the coming months. P&L can help with planning and monitoring your system - we can walk your fields and monitor results to help you achieve the best results.
To find out more contact P&L Consultant Sarah Lea on 07903 021875 or email [email protected]
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