This week, the average growth rate was 16kg DM/day. Although this is a reduction of just 2kg DM/day on last week, there is a big fall predicted in the coming days.
Predicted growth rates for the next seven days around the country range from 5kg DM/day to 8kg DM/day.
Next Wednesday is 1 December and for anyone who has been measuring grass this year, doing a farm walk during the week will generate a closing average farm cover (AFC).
Each farm has a target closing AFC on 1 December and this depends on the farm's stocking rate.
Farms stocked at 2.5LU/ha should target a closing cover of 600kg DM/ha, while farms stocked at 3 LU/ha should target a closing cover of 650-700kg DM/ha. Farms stocked at 3.5 LU/ha should target a closing cover of 700-750 kg DM/ha.
Good conditions so far this November have created a big temptation for farmers to continue grazing, but only on farms that have an AFC above their target closing covers should still have stock out grazing.
As grass in the spring is far more valuable, it is important to house cows and cattle once you have got close to the target closing cover.
Failing to hit the target closing cover can often lead to a shortage of grass in the spring, particularly in late March and into the start of the second rotation in April.
By walking over the next week and recording a closing AFC, it gives a true picture of the farm's performance up to the end of the year.
This can help with future autumn grassland management and also helps to generate a true picture of what grass was grown on the farm in 2021.