It has been another good week for growth rates across the country. The average growth rate was 63kg DM/ha which is ahead of 10-year average of 57kg DM/ha for the same week.

Above-average growth rates are predicted to continue as soil temperatures are holding well and the warm weather is to continue into next week. Temperatures over the weekend are forecast to be in the low to mid-20s.

The target average farm cover (AFC) for 1 September is between 750kg DM/ha and 1,000kg DM/ha depending on stocking rate.

For farms with surplus grass or silage to be cut, the next week will be a great opportunity to do so. By cutting now you will make the most of the current growth rates and speed up the recovery of these paddocks.

On farms that are behind target, small changes now while growth is good will help to build covers and get the plan back on track.

Depending on the deficit, introducing meal may not be enough and high-quality silage might be needed to slow cows down. Reducing demand below growth means the farm is growing more grass on a daily basis than the cows are eating which will result in the AFC rising.

Reducing demand

There are many different ways to reduce demand which include feeding meal and silage, zero-grazing an outside block, reducing stocking rate by getting young stock off the milking platform or by getting rid of empty cows.

As pre-grazing covers start to rise it is important to keep the focus on utilisation. At the moment, grazing conditions are ideal so there is no need to restrict cows.

Achieving residuals of 3.5cm to 4cm will ensure there is good quality grass coming back for the remaining grazings this year.


  • Target AFC for next Wednesday 1 September is: 750kg DM/ha on farms stocked at 2.5 LU/ha; 990kg DM/ha on farms stocked at 3 LU/ha; 980kg DM/ha on farms stocked at 3.5 LU/ha.
  • The closing date for fertiliser N and P applications is 15 September. Plan to get the last application out before then – 25-30 units of N per acre depending on stocking rate.
  • Good graze-outs now will ensure quality grass is available for the rest of the year.
  • Dairy farmers

    Beef farmers