2015-10-21   facebooktwitterrss

Farmers Urged to Make Most of Autumn Grass Growth

Farmers across the UK could make feed savings of up to £14 per cow over the next two to three weeks if they make the most of the late surge in grass growth that has been seen this autumn across much of the country.

Latest figures from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Northern Ireland (DARD) reveal that a prolonged spell of warm weather during September and October has seen grass growth exceed seasonal averages; a pattern that Barenbrug has seen elsewhere across the country.

Grass

make the most of the late surge in grass growth that has been seen this autumn across much of the country

With grass widely recognised as the most efficient form of forage available, Barenbrug is recommending that farmers let livestock continue to graze swards while ground conditions remain largely dry and – if they haven’t already done so – to delay applying farmyard manure (FYM) and slurry.

James Ingles, Head of Agriculture at Barenbrug, said: “The last two months have seen grass grow at a phenomenal rate in Northern Ireland but also in other parts of the UK. Our advice to farmers is to take advantage of these conditions and get the most out of their fields before the wet weather sets in.

The key to success will be careful management. Tight stocking rates and regular movement of livestock across pastures will increase intakes and utilisation percentages. And if farmers haven’t already applied fertiliser, they should hold off doing so until their fields have been grazed down to optimal residual levels.”

He continued, “For many farmers this might mean a change in strategy but it should pay dividends financially. We estimate that savings on two to three weeks worth of bought in feed could be made. That’s between £10 and £14 per cow. There are other benefits too. Getting grass length down before winter will also reduce the likelihood of mold and disease setting in, and help establish a good grazing platform for next year.”

Barenbrug

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