paddock grazing

farmer notsurewhattodo

Member
Livestock Farmer
Hi, i'd like to set up a paddock grazing system for my herd of 110 organic dairy cows, how do i go about calculating paddock sizes and number of paddocks? I have a plate meter ! I've tried it previous years, but tend to struggle in mid summer months for grass covers, I assume down to having too small a grazing area? or paddock sizes not quite right. Thanks
 

Tirglas

Member
Location
West wales
Decide on 12, 24, 36 or 48 grazing hour sizes and allow for your dry matter intakes then match to desired opening and residual covers.

Example
100 cows 15kg grass dmi
Opening cover 3000
Residual cover 1500
24hr paddock approx 1 ha

So on an organic round length 30 days you would hope to have a grazing platform of at least 30 1ha paddocks and expect to top them up whenever growth is sustained below 50kg/day.

More reasonable would be a few more paddocks of 1 ha or 30 larger paddocks which would allow lower opening covers.
 

Sid

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
South Molton
Hi, i'd like to set up a paddock grazing system for my herd of 110 organic dairy cows, how do i go about calculating paddock sizes and number of paddocks? I have a plate meter ! I've tried it previous years, but tend to struggle in mid summer months for grass covers, I assume down to having too small a grazing area? or paddock sizes not quite right. Thanks
Flexibility is the key especially with organic growth that varies through year.
Can always make paddocks smaller, hassle to make larger.
We have majority of 4 acre paddocks with some 5 acre fields.

We use reels to sub divide.
Don't have a plate meter, but years of practice.
 

Scholsey

Member
Location
Herefordshire
Flexibility is the key especially with organic growth that varies through year.
Can always make paddocks smaller, hassle to make larger.
We have majority of 4 acre paddocks with some 5 acre fields.

We use reels to sub divide.
Don't have a plate meter, but years of practice.
if you can’t measure it you can’t manage it.......... I don’t have one either, have borrowed one a couple of time and end up arguing with it.
 
Location
Ceredigion
60ts Electric Fence with back Fence was all the go, then tired of moving two fences paddocks came in in the 70ts , never really suited our system as we never had specific silage ground but a multi cut system . Any field that was a few days past grazing was taken out and mowed , then ICI and Lodge Trawscoed came up with Set stocking . Looks like its gone full circle again
 

Slowcow

Member
I like my plate meter!
I think because I paid for it (eBay I'm not minted!) It gives me the discipline to go out and use it, I'd probably not walk the paddocks properly without it.

We burn up bad in the summer most years and getting the grazing right is easier if you know what's happening.

I work on 20kg - whatever's fed in the parlour/buffer.

I think you just have to try it and you'll end up with a system that suits you, I'd forget if I tried to do it in my head o_O
 

kiwi pom

Member
Location
canterbury NZ
There is never a correct size paddock.
I would recommend a few Gallagher reels and metal stakes and change as you learn.
Split your bigger fields with wooden stakes and wire bearing in mind access so it's easier to put up your temporary fences.
That's my very basic understanding of it. No point having fixed sized paddocks if growth rate always changes, measure what you have and alter the break to suit.
Taking it to extremes, I've seen places where they let them into a paddock to finish it for a few hours, then move them to the next. I've seen it done at 9 or 10 o clock at night in some cases.
 

Early moves to target wild oats

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Growers and agronomists now face the dilemma of an early application to remove competition from emerged wild oats, or holding off to allow more weeds to germinate.

Syngenta grassweeds technical manager, Georgina Wood, urges Axial Pro treatment as soon as conditions allow, once weeds are actively growing.

“That offers the chance to control wild oats more cost effectively at lower rates, whilst there is still the flexibility to tailor application rates up to 0.82 l/ha for larger or over wintered weeds and difficult situations.

“The variability of crops and situations this season means decisions for appropriate Axial Pro rates and application techniques will need to be made on a field-by-field basis,” she advised.

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