Compartmented continuous grazing (“Nieuw Nederlands Weiden”) is an adapted set-stocking system for stocking rates up to 10 animals per ha in which the cows rotate on a daily basis between six compartments on one platform (which is the total area where the animals can graze). Each day, cows are moved to a new compartment and in a period of 5-6 days, they rotate on five or six compartments. The (variable) sixth compartment is cut for silage to increase sward utilisation. So, cows come back in the same compartment after 5-6 days. The average grass height in the compartments is kept constant (8-12 cm) so that daily regrowth is available for intake. The gap between daily regrowth and animal demand is filled with supplementation.
The grazing system was developed a few years ago in the Netherlands as a system that combines high grazing efficiency with ease of labour in dairy systems that have a high stocking rate and a high milk production per cow. Compartmented continuous grazing was discussed in-field by a group of teachers, scientists and farmers, together with a farmer that practices the system. It was concluded that the system is easy to implement, can be done on every farm, does not require a lot of labour / management skills and gives good result with respect to milk production and grass utilisation. The area on the farm that is available for grazing will be optimally used with this grazing system.
Abstract also available in: