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Selecting a Grass Mixture for Grazing.

Grazing-managementThe cost of establishing a new grass sward is an investment that although not cheap, provides the cheapest feed for ruminant livestock.  If well managed grazed grass can supply the energy requirements for 90% of beef cattle and sheep, whilst 70% for dairy cows.

Selecting the correct grass mixture for grazing is hugely important to maximise the efficiency of the sward for production.  Good grazing systems match livestock needs to grass growth.  Because grass growth and stock needs vary, measuring grass and adjusting the grazing area and/or stock numbers and supplementary feed throughout the season is essential for efficient grazing management.

When selecting a grass mixture for grazing the following points should be considered.

  • Intended Duration.
  • Type of Management
  • Fertiliser use.
  • Type of Stock.
  • Farm Soil Type.
  • Drainage.

Further points to consider:

  • The specific balance of grass and clover varieties in the mixture should reflect its primary purpose.
  • Specific types of perennial, Italian, tetraploid and hybrid ryegrasses, together with cocksfoot and timothy are appropriate for specific needs and growing conditions.
  • Medium to late-heading perennial ryegrass is essential to maintain quality grazing throughout the season.

Grass Types for Grazing Swards

Types-of-grazing-swards

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