Monday, 10 August 2009

Keep Mowing Pasture In Front of the Cows...It's that kind of year

Mowing pasture in front of the cows is an excellent daily tool to keep the pasture in top quality. In most years once is enough. This year however most farms in the UK are battling surplus grass & struggling to maintain quality. The quality of pasture being grazed is a direct result of the residual left last grazing. The tighter the residual (1500kgsDM/ha) the better the subsequent quality for milking cows.
The residual must be hard grazed everytime. If that's not possible mowing in front is a good option. It leaves the pasture nice & short, reduces the bloat risk & cows adapt quickly. However it costs money to run the I'm hestitant to recommend a second mowing. Almost every farm I've seen this week needs to regain control so the best option after taking quick cuts of bale silage is to mow again. What's your Pasture Wedge Graph telling you?

In 1975 I invented the term "Pasture Wedge". I was trying to describe the quantity of pasture feed a dairy farm had available at any one time. I thought we needed a simple picture....a little like a silage clamp....a visual picture. I was working with several dairy farm Discussion Groups near Matamata NZ. Little did I nor the late Des Clayton, (a scientist from NZ's Ruakura Research) who I was working with at the time, realise that this concept would be used all around the world by pasture based dairy farmers are they strive for better pasture utilization.
So often it's simple concepts that stick!

I take enormous personal pride that the 'pasture wedge concept' is now a world wide concept used by thinking dairy farmers everywhere. Imagine my joy on coming to the UK 8 years ago to hear progressive farmers talk about the "Magic Spring Day" another 1975 Matamata term that has travelled the world.
The development of the Pasture Wedge Graph a simple excel spreadsheet could almost be described as a giant leap forward for dairy farmers. Now farmers can get control & keep control of their lowest cost input....pasture.

I see that the pasture wedge graph has made it to the USA too.....isnt that fantastic!. Talking USA here's a grazing website thats worth visiting too. A great example of a progressive pasture based dairyfarm Discussion Group.

1 comment:

  1. Re Chicory (Chico). Visit the web page for technical info tech sheets where you can get the latest in Chicory management tips and Chicory crop area calculator to help you decide what area you should sow of Chico Chicory