How to achieve higher grass production and utilisation

Jul 27, 2018, 09:12 AM

For part two of our interview with 2017 Grass 10 champion Eddie O’Donnell, we get the top tips on achieving high grass production and more importantly utilisation.

Eddie explains what practices implemented on his farm to optimise soil fertility, grazing infrastructure, reseeding and grassland management which has helped achieve on average 10 grazings per paddock plus a silage cut.

He emphasises the huge potassium (K) demand on the milking platform where surplus grass is removed in the form of bales. With that in mind, the paddocks are colour coded in the parlour and paddocks with low K are earmarked for dirty water and no surpluses are removed from such paddocks.

Having quantified the financial benefits of completing a grass measurements, Eddie speaks about the benefits of the 3 grazing seasons: spring, summer and autumn. Furthermore, Eddie mentions that farmers must act on the figures resulting from measurements to ensure the grazed grass is at maximum quality at each grazing.

Despite the target rotation length set at 20-21 days, Eddie explains growth rate and pre-grazing cover (target 1,400-1,500 kg DM/ha) dictates rotation length, and at peak growth, rotation length can go as low as 16 days.

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