Given the weather conditions over the last couple of weeks, you would be forgiven for not believing it is coming to the end of November.

Dry conditions have meant there is a big temptation to continue grazing and regraze paddocks that are closed, but this must be done with caution.

Shorter daylight hours and a reduction in temperatures will see a big reduction in growth rates early next week. That said, since the beginning of last week, regrowth rates have slowed considerably.

Walking the farm this weekend will give you a picture of where the average farm cover (AFC) is with 10 days left in November.

Average growth rates between now and 1 December will be between 5kg DM/ha/day and 7kg DM/ha/day.

This means the farm will grow between 50kg DM/ha and 70kg DM/ha by 1 December.

Is this enough to get you to your target closing AFC?

These targets depend on your stocking rate and are as follows:

  • SR 2.5 LU/ha target closing cover 600kg DM/ha.
  • SR 3 LU/ha target closing cover 650kg to 700kg DM/ha.
  • SR 3.5 LU/ha target closing cover 700kg to 750kg DM/ha.
  • In some cases, there is still a high AFC and, in these cases only, should cows and/or cattle still be grazing. A regular grass walk will mean as soon as the AFC drops near the target closing cover all animals should be housed.

    The farm's ability to grow grass greatly reduces when the AFC goes below 500kg DM/ha. For this reason, anyone with an AFC of 500kg DM/ha or below should stop grazing.

    Remember, grass in the spring is far more valuable to you than grass at this time of the year. There is also the added bonus of reduced labour during calving by getting cows out to grass early in the spring.