Amazing Grazing: substantial fresh grass intake in restricted grazing systems with high stocking rates

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paper

Abstract

Due to larger herds on smaller grazing platforms, grazing has been decreasing in the the Netherlands. It is a challenge for farmers to achieve high fresh grass intake in modern grazing systems with high livestock densities and high supplementation levels. Two grazing systems were studied during two consecutive years: strip grazing (SG) and compartmented continuous grazing (CCG), both with 7.5 cows ha-1 on the grazing platform. Cows had daily access to the paddock for 6-8 h during daytime. During the night, supplementary feed was provided (5 - 12 kg DM cow -1 day-1; up to 8 kg DM day-1 of supplement, only maize silage was fed, above 8 kg DM a mixture of maize and grass silage was fed). Comprehensive data was collected on sward and animal performance focusing on grass intake. Both 2016 and 2017 showed an average grass intake ranging from 5.5-6.5 kg DM cow-1 day-1. The systems showed no significant difference with respect to grass intake and milk production. Each year, on averange 174% of the area of the CCG and 233% of the ares of SG was mown for silage. The results of this experiment show that grass intake can be sustantial (on average 1037 kg DM cow-1 during the grazing season) in restricted grazing systems with high stocking rates.                                                     
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSustainable meat and milk productions from grasslands
EditorsB. Horan, D. Hennessy, M. O'Donovan, E. Kennedy, B. McCarthy, J.A. Finn, B. O'Brien
PublisherEuropean Grassland Federation EGF
Pages234-237
Number of pages3
ISBN (Electronic)9781841706443
ISBN (Print)9781841706436
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jun 2018
Event27th European Grassland Federation General Meeting Cork (EGF 2018): Sustainable meat and milk production from grasslands - Cork, Ireland
Duration: 17 Jun 201821 Jul 2018
https://www.egf2018.com/

Publication series

NameGrassland science in Europe
PublisherEGF
Volume23

Conference

Conference27th European Grassland Federation General Meeting Cork (EGF 2018)
CountryIreland
CityCork
Period17/06/1821/07/18
Internet address

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