Weekly Diary of Robotic Grazing Farm – 18th August (week 34)
- Growth 33.5kg DM/ha (63.9)
- AFC 529kg DM/ha (716)
- Cover/cow 188kg DM (250)
- Demand/ha 37.2kg DM/ha (48.7)
- MS/cow 1.97kg (1.96)
- Fat 4.21% (4.19)
- Protein 3.63% (3.59)
*previous weeks figures in brackets
The grass growth rates have dropped from 64kg to 34kg DM/ha this week; A had a growth of 16kg and AFC of 236kg, B had a growth of 42kg and AFC of 523kg and C grew 39kg and AFC of 854kg. Since the start of August, the farm has only received 12mm of rain and this is now affecting growth again. The AFC has dropped severely to 530kg in a time when we are to be building covers. The A paddocks are under soil moisture deficit stress again, with the highest cover no more than 500kg DM/ha now. The B paddocks are under water stress also and are burning up, although have better covers than A.
We need to build covers now so we have grass for the October/November period; €1.80/cow for every day extra that grass is kept in the diet. In order to reach our Autumn Budget targets now, 4kg of silage have been introduced into the diet from Saturday. This has reduced the grass intake 13kg with 2kg of meal. The cows are getting a bale of silage in A and another in B. The hours have been changed so that the cows have more ‘day grazing hours’ in C. CAN was spread on all of A, and the majority of B and C on Saturday so hopefully rain will fall and improve the grass growth rates. The rotation has been lengthened to 27 days.
Jordan Molloy – Grazing Consultant, Grasstec @Jordanmolloy22
“I teach farmers how to measure grass and the discipline needed to do weekly farm walks. I show them how to input their data onto Agrinet and how to understand the grass wedge. Each week presents a different scenario on the farm so it’s crucial that the farmer can interpret the data in order to make informed decisions. Grasstec consultants are available in Ireland and the UK.”