Dairy pastures are characterised by high-yielding and high-quality forages that can be well managed under intensive rotational grazing and are able to tolerate considerable amounts of grazing pressure.
Dairy platforms throughout the country can often be split between two environmental types:
These are often completely based around a perennial ryegrass pasture mixture.
These can be sown on the platform as part of a renovation programme to potentially hold milksolids production in late autumn, while maintaining cow body condition and wholef arm pasture cover.
These farms tend to calve early in milder winter environments and produce a large proportion of their total milksolids before Christmas. Often these farms find maintaining quality and quantity of feed post-Christmas challenging. This can lead to extra costs with supplementary feed.
Summer crops can be sown in mid to late October for summer grazing and pasture renovation. These include:
Choice chicory, when sown in October, will be grazed at least three times in summer before resowing back into perennial ryegrass in the autumn
Ecotain® environmental plantain often can be sown in October for a summer crop. These crops can be maintained for a second summer before being resown back into perennial pasture
Often undersowing is a common response to open pastures due to drought conditions, or those that have been affected by heavy grazing and/or pugging in wetter times. Options for undersowing often depend on the timing of summer or autumn rainfall.
Herbs and legumes
* Legion has been bred, selected and successfully tested as a perennial and will function as a perennial ryegrass. Due to a small number of tip awns Legion is certified as Lolium Boucheanum.