Managing the spring surplus
During spring, aim to maintain pasture quality and quantity, and conserve quality forage.
When fodder reserves are low, maximising and conserving your surplus feed grown is a high priority. Conserving the true surplus helps to manage spring pastures and fill feed gaps later on.
Consider using nitrogen to promote pasture growth and maintain feed inputs. This will potentially create a larger spring surplus and may reduce the amount of purchased fodder required.
The spring pasture surplus can managed by:
- Allocating the right area of pasture to the herd to stay in control of pasture consumption and grazing pressure
- Focusing on the rotation length and managing the spring surplus that should be conserved as fodder
- Staying in control of the post-grazing residual. Three options to consider if cows leave too much pasture behind – top the paddock; add another class of stock; or make the paddock into silage on the next rotation. Silage may be of slightly lower quality, but better to capture the feed
- Adjusting your concentrate (supplement) feeding levels if required.
Things to consider
- The aim in spring is to maintain pasture quality and quantity and to conserve as much forage as possible
- Consider using nitrogen to create a greater surplus for conservation
- Consider maintaining feed inputs to create a greater surplus. Ensure that excellent pasture management is maintained if this option is used
- Optimise milk production from pasture by ensuring neither the quantity nor the quality is restricting intake
- Consider creating a larger surplus using nitrogen or maintaining feed inputs. Identify surpluses using ryegrass grazing management principles