Analyse of the grass supply

Description

Wilry Giesen (39) has a dairy farm together with his father Willy (65) in the western part of the Netherlands, the province Gelderland. The 110 cows are robotic milked combined with the grazing system continuous stocking (4 weeks in a paddock of 5-6 hectare).

The grazing gives the farmer a challenge for the amount of the feed he has to provide in the barn for an optimum use of the grazing. For an optimum use of the fresh grass the (supplementary) feeding ration in the barn has to be adjust on the grass growth and grass intake of the cows. It changes every week.

The farmer participated in the project ‘Amazing Grazing 1.0’ with his challenge. It resulted in a program that analyses the grass height in the paddock. The farmer is measuring the grass height every week with the tool ‘Grass Master Pro’. The program analyses this data and gives insight in the grass intake and the grass supply (based on growth curve). With the analyse the farmer is able to make the right adjustments in the feeding ration in the barn for successfully grazing.

Reason for the innovation

The strategy of the farmer is based on reducing cost and a more efficient use of the fresh grass. The feeding management during the grazing period is based on the grass supply by measuring the grass growth with the tool ‘Grass Master Pro’ and a special designed computer program for an analyse.

An improvement for the program is the predicted grass growth, for a better analyse this has to be more accurate.

Farm description

Environment

  • Soil: Clayey – Loam
  • Climate: Temperate oceanic
  • Altitude: ±sea level
  • Slope: flat

Grassland management

  • Grazing: Yes
  • Grazing management: Continuous stocking
  • Length of grazing periode: 6 months/year
  • Main composition grassland: Perennial ryegrass and white clover

Structure

  • Annual work units (AWU): 2
  • Agricultural Area 47 ha UAA
    • Permanent grassland 39 ha
    • Corn silage 8 ha
  • Production method: Conventional
  • Stock
    • 110 dairy cows
    • 60 young stock
  • Breed Holstein-Friesian, Brown Swiss, Fleckvieh, Swedish Red

Animal performance

  • Milk production: 9500 kg/year

Why it is working

The innovation is successful on this farm because:

  • the farmer’s motivation for a successfully and efficient grazing period.
  • the participation of the project ‘Amazing grazing 1.0’.

Additional information

Farming system

conventional farming

Domains of innovation

animal feeding management, grazing management system

Main types of animal

dairy cattle

Country

The Netherlands

Product type

Farmer portrait

Language

English

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