GrassWatch advice - 31 May 2021

31 May 2021

Grass growth rates across the UK are increasing as they have been through May, although Scotland has seen a slight drop this last week based on the data supplied from Trouw GBs GrassWatch report.

Notable points from this weeks GrassWatch analysis are as follows:

  • Grass growth in Scotland is 67kg/DM/ha/day in the last week
  • Potential grass DMI in Scotland is 12.2kg/day and Milk from Grazing 11.7l/day
  • Buffer feeding is required if cows are out at grass to achieved target DMI and support milk production.
  • ME of grass is declining while fibre levels are rising. Acid load at grazing is decreasing but diets should be balanced to minimise butterfat depression

Heat stress

Believe it or not, one thing to watch out for in the coming weeks with the warmer weather is heat stress. Scotland this week had an average Temperature Humidity Index of 63 and at this level there is a mild risk of heat stress to cows. With warmer weather on the way this is likely to rise.

In order to minimise an adverse reaction to this, it's essential that you ensure cows have adlib access to clean, fresh drinking water and shade. Diets may also need to be adjusted to account for feed intake being compromised due to heat stress. Energy density will need to be increased while ensuring that fibre levels are optimal for rumen function.

Another point to bear in mind regarding heat stress is that it can also have an impact on herd fertility.

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