Having grazed into December, the winter period is looking like a short one for the yearling cattle on the Thrive demo farm this year.

It is hoped to start to turn some stock out to grass in the coming week, with the lightest batch of heifers targeted to be the first out the door.

Grass supply on paddocks closed up since early October is good, with covers of between 1,200kg DM/ha and 1,300kg DM/ha on some of the strongest paddocks, while ground that was grazed into late November and December is still quite bare. This ground has been targeted with 2,500gal/acre of slurry via a dribble bar.

Exceptional performance

Performance over winter has been exceptional, with the bullocks gaining in excess of 0.9kg/day, while the heifers are close behind at 0.86kg/day since housing.

Some of this may be compensatory growth, as the performance at grass for the last few weeks was quite poor and cattle weighed poorly at the start of the winter.

It sees the heifers now average 336kg and the bullocks are averaging 348kg.