On the farm of Sean Hennessy, Bandon, Cork (Ireland) it is important to build up the grass supply on the farm in order to be able to stay on the pasture until mid-November without the grass running out. It’s important to measure the grass with PastureBase Ireland (www.pbi.ie), the target was to achieve an average farm cover of 1.100-1.200 kg DM/ha by mid-September. This means that were usually grazing covers of 1.,400 kg Dm/ha, pregrazing yield would have to increase to 2.,000 kg DM/ha+. Rotation length would also have to be extended to 35 days or more in order to be able to achieve this pregrazing yield. In order to be able to utilise these heavy covers, cows would have to graze on 12 hr blocks to meet residuals of 4 cm. The aim to stay out grazing until mid/late November and close up the farm with 650 kg DM/ha. Research shows that every day at grass in autumn is worth € 1.80 in the autumn/cow/day, however every day at grass in the following spring is worth € 2.70/cow/day.
The motivation of the farmer was to build grass on the farm, to be able to stay out grazing in the autumn and still have enough grass supply to let cows out grazing in February. The farmer was targeting to graze 65% of the farm in October and the remaining 35% of the farm in November to have enough grass back on the farm for February grazing.
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