Welcome to CARA Wales, agricultural and rural consultancy and advice. We offer an individual, unbiased and efficient service to help move your business forward.

Posts Tagged ‘grass’

Grazing for profit £££!

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

Our annual benchmarking of dairy farms continually shows yield from forage to be a key profit driver. Now that grass quality and growth is at its peak, make full use of it. If cows are are grass full time, with an ME of just over 12, 20 litres of milk is easily possible. Challenge cows who are in calf and condition score 3+, these will produce some cheap milk. Assess the grass, an don’t be afraid to reduce the parlour cake a bit. If you don’t do it now, the chance will be lost.

Silage top tips

Saturday, June 1st, 2013

Silage is now well under way, with many already done. It is perhaps useful to remind yourselves of some of the important points to give better results

1. Additive doesn’t make bad silage good
2. Don’t mow too early in the morning or late at night
3. Always ted out the grass
4. Consolidate quickly in clamp
5. Get the sheet on quickly, with some weight on top

It is worth trying to get these points right – you will be feeding the silage for 5-6 months!

Difficult Spring

Friday, May 24th, 2013

As many clients are saying, this is the most difficult spring in living memory – low grass growth, low temperature and low forage stocks. Cashflow is under pressure, and many are struggling.

There is no easy answers, but try and take some easy practical steps to aid the pressure:

Cull any unproductive animals – reduce the grazing pressure
Bring some youngsters in and feed straw and concentrates
Use the electric fence to ration grass
Back fence where possible to prevent back grazing
Take silage off sooner rather than later – bring some silage land back to grazing rotation
Speak to your bank earlier and present a plan clearly showing requirements and plan of repayment

Each situation is different, but doing nothing will not help!

Grass Quality – How & What to Feed

Monday, July 7th, 2008

Grass quality and weather conditions are not aiding milk production at present. Many producers are seeing fairly mature swards, with cows struggling to get intake due to wet weather. It is vital to provided a buffer to cows to enable milk production to be maintained. It is also likely to be of benefit to increase concentrate protein levels also to aid fibre digestion. Maize Gluten or a distillers product fed on top of silage will be of real benefit in maximsing milk production.


Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

The current prices of fertiliser and feed mean that there has never been a better time to take full advantage of grazed grass. Using a rising plate grass meter to assess grass covers gives some science to knowing whether cows appetites are met or not, how much to give the cows, and whether they have grazed the paddock tightly enough.

Rules of thumb are as follows:

Turn cows into a grass cover of around 2,800 – 3,400 kilos of grass dry matter per hectare

Pull cows out of pasture when cover down to 1,500 kilos of grass dry matter per hectare

Aim for a 21 day grazing rotation

With the current daily grass growth rates – upto 100 kilos dry matter per hectare per day – many pastures are getting too strong for grazing. In these circumstances it is worth skipping paddocks, cutting some paddocks for silage or even mowing and grazing some swaths behind an electric fence.

Measuring the grass covers, and recording on a weekly basis can mean an extra 2-3 litres from grass per cow per day. This is equivalent to saving £860 per month on feed costs for a 100 cow herd.

With interest expressed from customers, we are looking at running a grazing and plate meter course for any interested farmers. If you would like more details please contact the office.