lack of grazing land, what to do?

cpsf

Member
Hi Folks.
This is a bit of a read but I'd appreciate it if you keep reading! Thanks!
As we all know this spring is a difficult one in terms of grass not growing. I'm stuck in a situation of not sure what to do for the best therefore here is my situation.
Due to the dry weather my grazing ground for the dairy cows hasn't been growing much and I'm low on fresh spring grass to graze. Half of my silage fields had sheep on them in the winter and haven't grown much either (which makes me worry about not having much silage to put into the clamp). Sheep isn't a big issue usually but because of the poor season it's become more of an issue. One group of sheep and lambs are also low on grazing grass and are currently being fed silage in the field and the lambs are on creep.
**The one thing I do have is plenty of 3rd cut round bale silage from August/September 2020!**
So what do I do? Do I give up 2 of my silage fields so the cows and sheep and lambs get to graze fresh spring stuff to get the milk to rise (as it has dropped) and for these lambs (12 week old lambs) finish growing and fatten better, or do I try and save the silage fields and I continue to feed the cows and sheep on this third cut round bale? If I do give up 2 silage fields then I'll still have my 3rd cut bales left over, what would I do with that? Because I presume the longer you keep it the poorer the product becomes?
Many thanks in advance for any advice and tips on what you folks would do!
 

puppet

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
sw scotland
Give your best areas to grazing sheep and lambs as you should be getting lambs away soon. No sheep will eat 3rd cut silage before a blade of spring grass. You could buffer the cows but a week of rain and heat and everything will look different.
Just hope it comes before July
 

Al R

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
West Wales
I’m not one for weaning early but if lambs are 12 weeks you could wean them and put the ewes on nothing and scatter the lambs around. Don’t merge flocks into mobs if you can help it, a lot of my groups are still 30 ewes from when they were lambing and they are holding well but spending a lot of time sunbathing and not eating. I saw a friends mob of 300 ewes the other day and they looked desperate, every head down and turning into fields and trying to turn around before the gates were closing.
 

Electricfencer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Cotswolds
I’m not one for weaning early but if lambs are 12 weeks you could wean them and put the ewes on nothing and scatter the lambs around. Don’t merge flocks into mobs if you can help it, a lot of my groups are still 30 ewes from when they were lambing and they are holding well but spending a lot of time sunbathing and not eating. I saw a friends mob of 300 ewes the other day and they looked desperate, every head down and turning into fields and trying to turn around before the gates were closing.
That’s a good point. Most of mine are in 50 ewes and lambs and would have usually mobbed them into 250’s. Not a lot of grass but seem much happier than a big mob of 300 mule ewe lambs that just keep roaming about.
 
Location
Ireland
My thought on it would be,, keep the grass for the lambs,,to get them away ,, use your bales for milk cows and increase the cake, for milk cows,, keep cows in,, 2 weeks can change a lot of things
 

Rejuvenating swards: Which option is best?

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Written by Brian McDonnell

Maintaining grass quality during mid-season grazing is important. Farmers can maintain quality by entering ideal grazing covers of 1,300 – 1,500kg DM/ha, and grazing down to a residual of 4cm every rotation.

If you are now in a situation where cows are not cleaning out paddocks as well as they should be, leading to the development of steamy grass within the sward, here are some options.

Common options for rejuvenating swards include:

  1. Take a silage cut, probably into bales, remove the material and start again with the aftermath...
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