High Moisture Pastures

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HIGH MOISTURE PASTURES: Assess the difference supplementing new pasture growth can make to stocking rates

New season pasture often has a high moisture content that allows the grasses to break down in the rumen quickly and potentially leave the rumen before the nutrients are utilised by livestock. This can be visually identified with soft dung. Supplementing with starch and effective fibre when pastures are new and not growing very fast allows farmers to drastically increases their stocking rates. Our research has showed that supplementing ewes with 300g/day of oats has increased the stocking rates by 85%.

Our information sheet (right), provides a brief overview and explains:

  • How pasture is limiting production
  • The latest science about how to rectify pasture issues
  • Quantifying potential gains from complementary feeding
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Farming operations are complex. The following pros and cons have not been factored into this calculator:

  • Increasing stocking during periods of low pasture growth can be the limiting period of feed on offer, limiting the number of stock carried on a farm. This is more likely on mixed farms where stock can utilise stubbles. If pasture can be better utilised through this period, move stock can be carried on a given area.
  • It is common for feeders used in this calculator to be used for other purposes at different times of the year. This reduces the depreciation expense and increases the return on investment.
  • Supplementing ewes in the heightened stress period of lambing and lactation leads to extra wool growth. It also reduces the risk of the tensile strength lowering and devaluing the value of the wool.

 

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