Grazing stubbles – plan ahead for livestock feed after harvest

Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula - Mary Crawford

Type: Article
Knowledge level: Intermediate

Farm Table says:

This article provides some really practical advice in measuring value of stubble and preparing a livestock management plan.

Mary Crawford notes that:

Some farmers rely too much on stubbles and overestimate the quality and quantity of feed on offer

The article provides information on planning for livestock feed on stubbles post harvest. Key points include:

  • Consider maintenance of groundcover
  • FOO in a stubble paddock consists of four components; standing straw, loose trash, residual grain and green material
  • As a basic guide, if the amount of grain or green material exceeds 40 kg/ha (Grain & Graze, Southern Farming Systems), livestock will gain weight
  • To make an accurate assessment of the potential grazing value of a stubble, it is necessary to measure the FOO in the paddock
  • For example, weaner lambs should be given the first pick of the best stubbles whilst they are growing
  • Rotational grazing is critical to efficiently ration out dry feed / stubbles and to prevent overgrazing
2014 - Australia - Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula - Mary Crawford
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