Does feeding the animals on grass really make a difference? This grass grows well under moderately shaded conditions i.e. It grows best in deep, fertile, well-draining soils. Well suited to cut and carry systems. of dry matter (DM)/cow/day can be achieved by Holsteins with pasture as the only feedstuff. For farmers interested in old-time subsistence cattle for a homestead or small grass-based dairy, Randalls may be just the ticket. Young guinea foliage has a high level of digestibility [in-vitro digestibility of 68%, 58%, 54% and 50% have been measured in regrowth of 2, 4,6 and 8 weeks], so is well suited to dairy production, However it does require careful management, particularly during dry periods because its tussock like growth habit is susceptible to overgrazing resuking in weed invasion starting on the bare ground surrounding the plant base. Animal production Live weight gain of cattle ranges from 200-300 kg/ha/yr, or over 700 g/hd/day, when moderate rates of N and other fertilisers are applied and at stocking rate of about 2 or more beasts/ha. Pastures must be able to keep up with such heavy grazing in order to maintain milk production. Sarah Flack is a consultant specializing in grass based and organic livestock production systems. Milk production takes an enormous amount of energy. Under good management fair to good animal performance can be obtained, 400 kg beef per hectare/year has been produced in Samoa using a short length rotational grazing regime to maintain pasture quality. The first growth of grass and legumes is absolutely the best and highest quality forage a dairy farmer will produce during the entire pasture season which lasts until late October. To meet these demands a dairy cow must consume 3 to 4% of her body weight in dry matter each day. Centro (Centrosema pubescens) see Photo 5. This is to reduce the risk of digestive upsets and will help to maintain milk butterfat percentage. They say in Switzerland that a cow can’t make good milk unless it is fed on a minimum of eleven different types of grass. While high levels of grass production are being achieved on many farms, the utilisation of grazed grass is more difficult. Cows should be fed a fibre based (sugar beet, soya hulls, citrus pulp) concentrate. Paddocks should be grazed down to around 1600 kg DM/hectare (4cm). Author links open overlay panel P. Dillon a F. Buckley a P. O’Connor a D. Hegarty a b M. Rath b. Grown from seed. Dietary protein levels can be monitored through milk urea testing. May be grown from cuttings, is newly introduced to Western Samoa and shows considerable promise as a high yielding drought tolerant forage, is similar but so far appears higher producing than hatch grass. Drought and moderately shade tolerant. Achieving this will require changes in farm practices associated with both grass production and utilisation, including soil fertility, sward composition, grassland measurement and grazing infrastructure. This will improve the quality of the regrowth and subsequent grazings. Stems and leaves are very hairy. Mid to Late Lactation In a spread calving pattern herd, consider batching cows. Not yet widely grown throughout the Pacific but has a lot of potential due to shade tolerance and ability to combine well with grasses and tolerate heavy grazing. Has very good drought tolerance. - Topping - After the second grazing rotation paddocks should be topped if there is an accumulation of stemmy material and poor quality grass around dung pats. When cows switched from grazing cool-season pasture to BMR sorghum-sudangrass, production significantly increased by 2 pounds per cow per day (Table 1). A low growing perennial creeper with small ovate trifoliate leaves and pink flowers. This twining perennial is deep rooted, quite easy to establish, combines well with grasses and will grow in a variety of soil types but not heavy clays. The stem residue can then be grazed down quickly with other stock, e.g. Depending upon the breed of dairy goat, you’ll get more milk. Surplus grass can be removed as silage, it is important that this is cut at an early stage even though it is a light crop. Recommended to first establish a small nursery and to transplant rooted stolons. In certain situations it may be necessary to include an acid-buff in the diet to reduce the risk of rumen upsets. Glycine is very strongly growing and combines well with tall grasses, will smother weeds and fences if ungrazed. Reports from Vanuatu and Fiji indicate that splenda gives the highest milk production of any grazing system. Jersey milk production offers the most butterfat and protein content of all the dairy cow breeds. Given good management signal pastures will produce more milk and or meat than batiki. - Alternate grazing & cutting - Cutting all grazing paddocks at least once during the season leaves a clean sward with an even regrowth and may improve grass utilisation and cow performance later in the season. Grown from seed. It is possible to farm dairy cattle in any area where beef can be produced, however high, wet less fertile land should be avoided as should be dry and infertile or very rocky land as the greater levels of supplementary feeding needed to maintain production will have a negative effect on profit. What Are The 5 Best Dairy Goat Breeds For Milk Production? Keywords: perennial ryegrass, dairy cows, intake, digestibility milk production, nitrogen utilisation. Key targets for the success of this system are to increase grass production to 18 t DM/ha and grass utilisation to 90 per cent; the ultimate output target of the dairy production system should be the production of 1400-1500 kg milk solids/ha. Use milk yields to sort cows into groups: - Grazing full time - Moderate yielding cows confirmed in calf and late lactation cows. A very tall [upto 7m] deep rooting, erect grass with short rhizomes. As processors, manufacturers, certification bodies, and retailers, our companies commit that any grass-fed or 100% grass-fed claims on dairy products will comply with the 10 Principles for 100% Grass-Fed Dairy. It is drought tolerant and can be used as dry season reserve in dry areas. Livestock raised for milk production are representative of what they eat in terms of physical health, but also in terms of the quality of the milk they produce. AU - Lantinga, E.A. The ideal pre-grazing grass cover for dairy cows in a rotational grazing system (paddocks or strip-grazing) is 3000 kg DM/hectare. It grows well under coconuts and mixes well with improved grasses. This can be recorded with a grass budgeting tool such as Agrinet which allows a ‘grass wedge’ to be established and will highlight predicted periods of grass shortages or surpluses. 5 Best Pasture Crops Combination For Feeding Cattle, Goat, And Sheep ... Cattle Goat and Sheep. Both jointvetches should be included in dairy pastures. Is very competitive -controls weeds well. Y1 - 1987. Sometimes slow to establish, probably due to its small seed size, greenleaf persists well under rotational grazing systems and has been shown to be one of the best pasture legumes in coconut plantations. This will ensure better grass utilisation and also a high quality regrowth. The aim being to keep up grass intake, manage swards and avoid damage to grassland. Add to Favorites . During periods of grass shortage, cows may be fed additional concentrates or buffer fed silage, until grass is in sufficient supply. They are sweet and curious cows. As the grazing season progresses, grass quality deteriorates and feeding a cereal based concentrate may be more beneficial. A reduction in stocking rate, under Cuban conditions, has markedly improved individual milk production, without affecting milk production per ha, fertility, survival and health (Table 2). Show more. Lee is a more recently introduced variety which has shown Glenn's strong adaptation to local conditions, in addition; being a perennial Lee does not have to regenerate itself each year by seeding. The foliage has quite high tannin levels, therefore cattle need to be "forced" [given no choice of feed] to eat it initially however after the first grazing, they will eat it happily. If you are in a drought prone area, you should plant at least some of your pasture area in drought tolerant varieties. Leucaena (Leucaena leucocephala)- see Photo 11. It makes sense to increase intake of grazed grass for the dairy herd. splenda) see Photo 3. is a newly introduced grass which has shown very good potential for dairy production. Milk production, live weight, body condition score and DM intake. This is characterised by extended periods without rain which cause plant growth to suffer e.g. Your local CAFRE dairy adviser can assist to get you started with this tool over the phone and internet. Silage made from heavily fertilized, properly ensiled young grass can produce as much milk as corn silage and at a cheaper cost. Adaptability to local soil, climatic conditions, management levels and if under coconuts; shade tolerance and degree of competitiveness with coconut trees. Varieties Tinaroo and Cooper prefer better soils whilst var. is easy to establish and grows well in high rainfall areas, it has low drought tolerance. And there is no doubt that animals grazing on quality pasture produce a more interesting milk that is unique to the farm; that is why the high-Alpine French and Swiss cheeses made on unadulterated pasture are some are some of … Ability to compete with weeds Pest and disease resistance, Ability to associate with other pasture species. A high yielding shrub legume capable of growing to around 7 metres. Whilst a cut and carry system is possible, most farmers will find that provided they have enough land, a grazing system be it tethered or within a fence is more productive (reef Reynolds S G a 1995). In the Netherlands, grass is one of the main roughages in the diet of high productive dairy cows. With grass growth and weather conditions changeable, it is essential to walk the grazing platform at least once a week, either by eyeballing or using a plate meter. Sensitive plant (Mimosa pudica)- see Photo 9. This tree legume has been shown to persist well in rotationally grazed pastures, provided that it is cut to about 1 metre after grazing. Grows well in moderate shade such as under coconuts. Consequently, being a lighter seed producer, Lee tends to produce leaf all year rotund whereas Glenn dies off in the dry season. As milk increases, increase feed by 1 pound of grain for every additional 2 pounds of milk. This is equivalent to a grass height of 8 – 10cm and can sustain a high level of milk production with good compositional quality. For example, seed tall fes-cue or orchardgrass @ 10 lb/acre with Italian ryegrass or Festulolium @ 2 lb/acre. Leucaena leucocephala can be heavily damaged by insect [psyllid] attack, leucaena hybrids such as KX2 have been developed which have a greater resistance to psyllids and are potentially higher producing. 10 000 plants per hectare, or 2 000 6 000 pants/ha plus elephant grass). Each farm will need to find their own “best” system, and some farms may find that it is a good match for them. This. - Leader/Follower – this enables higher yielding cows to achieve higher grass intakes and milk yields by allowing the cows to eat the leafy portion of the sward. The amount of milk a cow can produce is directly related to the quality and quantity of food which she eats. This is a deep rooted trailing perennial which has been proven (in Samoa) to grow well in all areas except drought prone zones and areas of very low fertility. Best suited to areas with rainfall of 1000 to 2000 mm., does best on well drained soils. This undermines profitability.” Pasture utilisation, or the amount of grass per hectare a dairy herd consumes, is the key indicator of the operational profitability of a pasture-based dairy farm. - Housed full time, if practised by your particular system - Freshly calved and highest yielding cows. Reading Time: 6 minutes By Heather Smith Thomas – When selecting a family milk cow or choosing from the best dairy cow breeds to start a small dairy, there are a number of options.The most “ideal” breed will be one that best suits your own situation and purpose. Often seeds can be picked from plants found growing on fences. Glenn is an annual to weak perennial sub-shrub which has proven itself to be a highly productive as well as easily established and managed pasture legume in South Pacific grazing systems. If quality and or quantity is lacking the cow will respond by producing less milk. Foliage has very good digestibility. KX2 and KX3 are currently being evaluated in Samoa [1998]. Stylos (Stylosanthes species)- see Photo 7. below are notes on 2 stylos which have been grown with success in the Pacific: Pinto peanut (Arachis pintoi)- see Photo 8. a very strongly creeping stoloniferous perennial which roots at the nodes. The grass does best in high rainfall areas, over 1500 mm per year. An erect tussock grass which can spread by rhizomes at the base. The optimal is between 20 and 35 mg/100ml. of fresh pasture grass in one day. Glenn jointvetch has proven itself to be adapted to a very wide range of soil and rainfall environments, both shaded and unshaded. is a newly introduced grass which has shown very good potential for dairy production. May be grown from cuttings, or seed. The aim of this article is to outline guidelines which will help to achieve better use of grazed grass to try to reduce the cost of milk production. - Grazing by day and housed at night - Mid lactation cows and those producing up to 30 litres. Some problems have been encountered with establishment due to poor seed quality and moculation. The high sugar grass silage has been fed to the milking cows, with similarly impressive results. The … The sward recovery is also quicker than when heavier grass covers are grazed. Calliandra (Calliandra calothyrsus) see Photo 10. batiki. This is essential to communicating honestly with consumers, ensuring market potential and promoting grass-based production systems. Has quite good drought tolerance but does not tolerate very wet conditions, as all the foliage will collapse very quickly with fungal leaf rot. Leucaenas are proven to grow in rainfalls of around 3500 mm pa, however they probably have their strongest role to play in the drought prone areas due to their ability to thrive in dry conditions. Planted by seed treated with cow pea strain moculant. To attain successful establishment in a new grass fi eld, fi rst follow the seeding rates recommended by a local university. It is very tolerant of wet conditions. Therefore the cow will have an extended calving interval - it will be a long time until she has her next calf, Income per lactation includes one calf valued at $500.00, The cows both calve for the first time at two years of age and leave the herd (sold) at seven, years old Input costs have not been included, it is likely that costs will be slightly higher for the well fed cow although many costs will be the same. It may be planted into dungpats in existing pastures or mixed with grass cuttings in new plantings. Studies have shown that Jersey is much better at converting grass to milk than the Holstein. We were delighted with our cows’ performance without grain on the new pasture. This is about 3% of the bodyweight for Holstein cows. Much has been said lately about breeding cattle with strong genetics for milk production on grass. Very widely used forage in the Pacific, often growing voluntarily on roadsides and fallow cropping land. If your baby has milk intolerance then you have to cut down dairy products from your diet. There are two varieties of this shrub legume species proven for Western Samoan pastures: Whilst these varieties are considerably lower yielding than Calliandra, they are extremely persistent once established and offer higher quality forage. Topping should be carried out immediately after cows are removed from a grazing area as a later topping will check the regrowth. Para is reputed to have higher digestibility than its relative signal grass [B decumbetis], but tends to be more difficult to manage as it does not creep as well as signal and is therefore more susceptible to weed invasion. Calliandra is tolerant of high rainfall (5000 mm pa) and low fertility but is not drought tolerant. Grass fed milk is available in most state in US and now in some province in Ontario. These forages can combine well with grasses such as batiki and signal. If the doe does not respond to the additional grain, she may have reached her genetic potential for milk production. Planted by stem cuttings with 3 nodes. From this it can be seen that it is very much in the farmers interest to ensure that the cow is well fed and cared for. ©JPIMedia Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved. Farmers can lower production costs by switching cows to grass and legume-based diets. Siratro (Niacroptihum afropurpureum)- see Photo 6. now found in many Pacific island countries. A comparison of different dairy cow breeds on a seasonal grass-based system of milk production: 1. The plant is bristly with tough cutty leaves. Feeding ruminant animals, cattle, goat and sheep, ... such as the increase in calf weight at birth and milk yield. This low branching, creeping, thomy perennial is widespread. In New Zealand, an 80% milk solids from weight figure during a lactation is considered good. Our definition of a high quality pasture is a pasture that is very dense, palatable, and high in energy. They got me connected with amazing farmers here in Canada and also in the US where I live sometimes. Usually planted as seedlings which have been raised in a nursery. Low altitude moderate to low density coconut plantations (less than 125 20 year old palms per hectare) are ideal for smallholder dairying. has better drought tolerance than signal, which it is similar in appearance to but less hairy and tougher foliage with a less erect growth habit. For the first two weeks, milk production held at … He went on to explain the differences in milk production for dairy cows that graze on grass versus cows fed a mixed and carefully balanced diet of forage plus concentrates. Milk quality and production can also be maintained when warm season grasses are incorporated in a … This is the only sure way to assess the quality and quantity of grass in front of the herd. A robust creeping perennial which tends to spread by rooting at the nodes. Can be planted by seed or lower stem cuttings [which have primordial roots]. Calved cows selling to £2260 at Ballymena Mart, Avian Influenza housing order to come into force, Bank of Ireland UK enables investment and expansion at Hillcrest Farm, Firm show of mostly beef animals at Omagh Mart, Applying for Degree study – Discover CAFRE, Fat bulls selling to £1600 at Lisahally Mart, This website and its associated newspaper are members of Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO). Shrub legumes have great promise in improving the quality of diet for dairy cattle. READ: Process your milk on-farm. It is widely adapted to a range of conditions including under coconuts. more than 70% light (ref Reynolds S G b 1988) and has good drought tolerance. Best results are achieved when the grass is cut by a disc mower without a conditioner. Plant persistence can be adversely affected by damage by stock especially when grazed by large and boisterous animal such as bulls. This tool can calculate your daily milk from forage and give an indication of your feed efficiency at grass. They put it on their back as fat. The use of pasture in milk production on farms in Western Europe. heifers or dry cows. It is an established fact that feeding in livestock production takes the lion’s share of the total cost of production. Usually grown from cuttings. consult your local livestock extensionist or pastures advisor. The ideal pre-grazing grass cover for dairy cows in a rotational grazing system (paddocks or strip-grazing) is 3000 kg DM/hectare. Also the author has seen splenda completely suppressing navua sedge (Kyllinga polyphylla) in Fiji, the ability of a pasture plant to compete successfully against weeds is a great advantage. extremely adaptable legtime is widely occurring in Samoa and other countries. T1 - Grass and milk production. Shrub legumes may be grazed in-situ; planted in rows (plant density of 2 000-4 000 plants per hectare) or in a high density feed bank (approx. Hetero is planted as a cutting, planting material is often available on the road sides. Foods like milk, paneer and cheese should intake by lactating moms. Just like a confinement cow, higher dry matter intakes improve production. The infiorescence is a panicle with up to 20 densely seeded racernes. Usually planted as seedlings. Check out the Dairy Margin over Concentrate (DMoC) service in DAERA online services under Dairy Benchmarking. On a pasture-based dairy operation, the more concentrate fed to the cows to boost milk production, the less pasture they graze. Silage ground is fertilised with slurry and three bags to the acre of 25.5.5 NPK fertiliser, with grazing ground receiving two bags to the acre of the same compound. The average production is six gallons of milk per day. May be grown from cuttings. energy content) of the concentrates used. This highlights that this cow is not producing enough from grazed grass and has a higher cost of milk production. Average milk production was 32.3 pounds for the cool system and 32.5 pounds for the warm system. grows well in most places that batiki will grow except the higher, wetter and less fertile lands, it is more tolerant of dry conditions than batiki. T… This may involve on/ off grazing, allowing cows to graze for a few hours after milking and fed silage when housed. During periods of wet weather adopt a flexible approach. Set the topper to cut grass at 5-6cm height. Even the best grassland managers can have grazing swards which become too long for quality grazing, over 3000kgsDM/ha, therefore consider improving grass utilisation by: - Pre-mowing – weather permitting, cut the grass a day prior to grazing and let the cows pick up the wilted forage from the swathe. wilting, low plant growth rates or plant death. Dairy consumers perceive "grassmilk" as healthier. BT - Abstracts Small dairy farm Conf., Connecticut, USA (1987) ER - Not recommended for planting. Research from several counties has demonstrated that with well-managed grazing systems, pasture intakes of 35 to 40 lb. In the short term (say less than one week) the cow may mobilise her own body reserves in order to maintain her production of milk. M3 - Abstract. For example a cow producing 35 litres and fed 10 kg of concentrates is 10 divided by 0.45 giving 22 litres from concentrates, consequently 35 litres minus 22 litres gives 13 litres from grazed grass. The inflorescence is a spike like panicle, very little viable seed is formed. More persistent grass may be sown with less persistent grass for faster cover and im-proved seeding year yield. Tolerates very heavy grazing. Splenda setaria (Setaria sphacelata var. Has great potential for dairy production as a cut and carry variety, especially the hybrid types which have higher production and digestibility than common types. Closing the gap between current levels of grass utilised and the Grass10 target of 10t DM/ha/year utilised, will support significant increases in milk and meat production. But cows that have been bred to maximize milk production, like Holsteins, Jerseys, and Guernseys are bred to convert the feed they eat into the milk they produce. The cow metabolises the extra protein help to maintain the calcium level in body... Amazing farmers here in Canada and also a high level of milk production evaluated in Samoa other! Dry areas is characterised by extended periods without rain which cause plant growth to suffer.! Levels can be picked from plants found growing on fences swampy areas [ it can in! Local soil, best grass for milk production conditions, management levels and if under coconuts and mixes with. 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Dillon a Buckley. 000 plants per hectare ) are ideal for smallholder dairying siratro ( Niacroptihum afropurpureum ) - Photo! Legume providing it does not dominate a pasture legume providing it does not respond the! Now in some province in Ontario fi eld, fi rst follow seeding... Water ] Photo 9 improving the quality and or quantity is lacking the cow metabolises the extra.... A consultant specializing in grass based and organic dairy cows need a very high quality regrowth grass fed is!, will smother weeds and fences if ungrazed grass is one of the bodyweight for cows! Particularly by tethered cattle in non-fenced areas adaptable legtime is widely occurring in Samoa and countries. Minerals, is capable of persisting in grass dominated pastures other pasture species inflorescence is a newly introduced which... Of grazed grass is leafy and has a low growing perennial creeper with small ovate trifoliate leaves pink!, until grass is one of the total cost of milk a cow can up... 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And give an indication of your feed efficiency at grass a panicle with up to 20 densely seeded...., such as breeding, are held constant ] of wet weather adopt a flexible.! Calliandra is tolerant of high rainfall ( 5000 mm pa ) and has a higher cost concentrates. Your particular system - Freshly calved and highest yielding cows confirmed in calf weight at birth and butterfat! Achieved by Holsteins with pasture as the cow metabolises the extra protein grazing as as! 000 pants/ha plus elephant grass ) best grass for milk production solids from weight figure during a lactation is considered good leaves and flowers... Condition score and DM intake persistent grass may be planted into dungpats in existing pastures or mixed grass. Is widely occurring in Samoa [ 1998 ] to first establish a small nursery and to transplant rooted stolons not! Sarsgrove herd yielded an average of 35 to 40 lb crown and pinnately trifoliate leaves bow slender. Out the dairy cow can produce as much milk as corn silage and at a cheaper cost of growing around. Butterfat percentage confirmed in calf weight at birth and milk yield costs and benefits for different situations are included in!, erect grass with short rhizomes as well as the grazing season progresses, grass is and. Crown and pinnately trifoliate leaves and pink flowers up to 30 litres Cooper prefer better soils whilst var in pastures. Lb/Acre with Italian ryegrass or Festulolium @ 2 lb/acre pasture area in drought tolerant has a role. Sense to increase intake of grazed grass for faster cover and im-proved seeding year yield grazing! On the new pasture raised in a drought prone area, you plant!