Grazing Management Tips


Type: Research Paper
Knowledge level: Advanced

Farm Table says:

This New Zealand based research article on grazing management tips focuses on pasture production, livestock productivity, livestock profitability and overall farm management.

What is the problem?

DairyNZ designed this article to help farmers improve their skills and knowledge in pasture management. This characteristic is vital since the inevitable climate change that affects the seasons’ usual production may cause adversities to the overall farm.

What did the research involve?

It involved the numerous ways to specifically perform great pasture management that contributes to a streamlined grazing management.

What were the key findings?

1. 8 habits of a great pasture manager according to DairyNZ includes:
● Consistent meet of residual targets, prioritizing pre-graze targets, assessing the farm weekly and using data for effective decision-making, measuring the average pasture cover weekly, complete feed source of pasture, identifying the surplus early, and emphasizing the pasture biology.

2. An efficient grazing management involves a balance of pasture management and maximizing the cow production and milk solids production. Specifically, this involves:
● Controlling the grazed area everyday to meet average pasture targets; estimating the area and pre-grazing cover and adjusting/maintaining if the cow achieves the consistent and even grazing height; maximizing per cow production; removing pasture grown since last grazing and prevent the height increase form the post-grazing; distributing pasture cover to paddock in a feed wedge for high-quality pasture accessibility; maintaining an average pasture cover of above 1800kg DM/ha in early spring with 2000-2400kg/ha for the season to magnify the growth rates of pasture; and unchanging the height of post-grazing residual covers but increasing the dry matter mass.

Final comment

Overall, both the grazing intensity and pasture cover affect the pasture quality and production. By this means, if the pasture production is good then the pasture intake of the livestock is also productive, especially in terms to the profitability of the farm. As a result, the grazing management should prioritize in making the best use of future pasture productivity and quality.

New Zealand - DairyNZ
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