Grass management: With daylight hours reducing and night-time temperatures dropping well back in the last week, grass growth rates will come under pressure fast. It is important to monitor grass supplies and not let lambs eat more grass than should be apportioned to them, leaving ewes tight on grass. The target for a mid-season lambing flock should be to have 30 days grazing ahead of ewes at the start of October, with this figure increasing to 40 days in mid-October.
This will be hard to achieve in a situation where ewe intake is running on average at 1.6kg DM/day for lowland ewes if lamb drafting rates are not on target. If it looks as if grass supplies are likely to run tight at this stage of the year then early action will give a much better chance of getting back on track. Options include introducing or increasing concentrate levels to lambs to reduce grass intake, selling lambs as stores and moving cull ewes off the farm where not already sold. Availing of temporary grazing may also be an option this year.