This report analysed the modern continuous stocking system for dairy farms in the Netherlands. This system has to deal with a minimum grass height of 8 or 10cm (depending on the season) in order to obtain maximum grass production. A model should predict the available herbage mass under changing weather conditions and therefore the available fresh grass and the related amount of additional feed needed for the cows. A concept model, called McGraze, is developed for farmers in order to manage modern continuous stocking (Figure 1). McGraze consists of a grass production section and a stoking related section. The grass production section is based on an existing grass production model called LINGRA, which resulted from a literature review to be the most accurate model to predict grass production. LINGRA needs some minor changes in order to fit into McGraze. The stocking related section is key to the final hours of stocking and the related additional feeding, which are the outputs of McGraze. All values used to predict the outputs are a result of a literature study on grass height, grass quality, grass intake and the effect of stocking on grass growth.
|Publisher||Wageningen UR Livestock Research|
|Number of pages||31|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 2015|
- dairy farms
- stocking density
- dairy farming