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Thread: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

  1. #1
    The ruminant
    Guest

    Mob (or planned high density) grazing

    In theory, this grazing technique makes very good sense - grazing animals very tightly, so muck and urine is concentrated, moving the cattle very frequently, leaving a lot of leaf on the plant post-grazing (to maximise sunlight capture and hence maximise regrowth) and then having a very long recovery period post grazing, so that the plant can replenish its carbohydrate reserves.

    As I said, the theory sounds good, in fact so good that I've decided to try it out in the real world. Here's a link to the article that whetted my appetite

    http://www.angusbeefbulletin.com/Art...3_10%20ABB.pdf

    I've also attached a few photographs. I'd be interested to hear comments (both positive and negative, no doubt!).

  2. #2
    henery
    Guest

    Re: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

    Please letus know how you get on, I have read a bit about this system and it sounds worth a go.

  3. #3
    lazy farmer
    Guest

    Re: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

    very interested to see how it goes. are you growing more grass this way ? will grass types deterioate over time? would it be better to graze slightly lower covers? how are the growth rates of the calves and BSC of the cows? What system were you doing before? If set stocking then i'm sure you'll see improvements. will it extend your grazing season? are you using less fert?

    lazy

  4. #4
    daibach 57
    Guest

    Smile Re: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

    From your pictures you are going into too high covers and not grazing down tight enough if you go into shorter grass they will graze down better mantaining better quality for the next timebut having said that stick with it ,you will grow more and better quality grass using less fert,so you will feed your cattle better and cheaper!!

  5. #5
    organic guy
    Guest

    Re: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

    Lots of work being done on this is america and canada. They seem to have more mixed species swards and talk of a 90 day rotation! My concern would be over quality and stock growth rates- the mixed swards may be key to this.
    I use a similar system for our autumn grazing where I keep 2nd cut silage shut up in case I need to cut 3rd time. If not needed I mow in front of the cattle to get good clear up and regrowth.
    Joel Salatin is the guru in America, he has been mentioned on BFF before and has a website and lots of books about food culture.
    I am just ordering mixed species swards to move our system forward along these lines.
    Good luck

  6. #6
    The ruminant
    Guest

    Re: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

    Quote Originally Posted by lazy farmer View Post
    very interested to see how it goes. are you growing more grass this way ? will grass types deterioate over time? would it be better to graze slightly lower covers? how are the growth rates of the calves and BSC of the cows? What system were you doing before? If set stocking then i'm sure you'll see improvements. will it extend your grazing season? are you using less fert?

    lazy
    The BCS of the cows is excellent/almost too good - all the Simm crosses are threes, the herefords are approaching 4's! The calves can effectively creep feed the ungrazed grass, as they can go under the electric fence and look really well (given their genetic makeup, which isn't great....!)

    We were set-stocking previously. We turned out a day later this year than last (into less grass this year) and still have 12-14 days grazing ahead of us before we start going round again. Last year, by this time, we had run out of grass (it was all grazed hard / overgrazed) and so went onto the silage aftermaths far too early - consequently they too were overgrazed and we were short of forage for the rest of the year!

    This time, I anticipate the second 'round' of grazing will take c.4 weeks, by which time the silage ground will have had nearly six weeks to recover / regrow / replenish carbohydrate reserves in the root. We can then move onto this and (hopefully) not have to revisit land for two months plus - this at the driest and hottest time of the year when the grass stops growing (remember we're in the east so really suffer from lack of grass growth in the summertime).

    Quote Originally Posted by daibach 57 View Post
    From your pictures you are going into too high covers and not grazing down tight enough if you go into shorter grass they will graze down better mantaining better quality for the next timebut having said that stick with it ,you will grow more and better quality grass using less fert,so you will feed your cattle better and cheaper!!
    Daibach, you've raised the two most contentious points and I agree these divide opinions more than anything else. The two points are the height of the covers at the start and the height of the covers post-grazing.

    The theory is as follows (and I say 'theory' - several farmers in the US and elsewhere would say 'the reality is...', but I haven't yet come to any conclusions so it's still a theory as far as I'm concerned):

    (1) High covers: it doesn't matter. The cows are effectively big fermenting vats and can handle forage with a bit more stalk than is normally accepted practice (they get vast amounts of straw in the winter...!). I should point out that these are sucklers, so are not producing large quantities of milk, therefore there ME & CP needs of the animals are much lower than for dairy cows; Any grass that is trampled into the ground acts as a mulch, capturing and conserving rainfall in the soil, and creating warm, shady, moist conditions to encourage regrowth.

    The important thing, as far as I can gather, is to graze off before the plant sets the seed and becomes dormant - obviously I need it to keep growing for the rest of the summer!

    (2) Regarding the covers post grazing, by leaving more leaf on there, more sunlight is captured and the grass should grow more quickly. There have been many experiments done which show this. In practice, I've grazed one or two strips harder, to test this, and they are taking an age to grow back compared to those left longer, so it seems to be correct.

    Again, I would rather have lots of forage of a slightly lower quality than no forage! Grazing too low increases the length of time needed for recovery which means I would be back for the second and third rounds of grazing before the plant has had time to replenish its reserves.

    It's been found that if you graze 50% of a grass plant (ie the top half) less than 10% of the roots die off; if you graze 60% of the plant then over half the roots die off.

    (3) Weeds - the final benefit is that we don't need to top the ground for creeping thistle. The cows have eaten them all!

  7. #7
    marvin
    Guest

    Re: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

    Quote Originally Posted by daibach 57 View Post
    From your pictures you are going into too high covers and not grazing down tight enough if you go into shorter grass they will graze down better mantaining better quality for the next timebut having said that stick with it ,you will grow more and better quality grass using less fert,so you will feed your cattle better and cheaper!!
    +1
    the grass in the pictures is possible to heavy even for quality silage(the one with all the calves in the foreground)
    however it dose take a year or so to get the confidence to get into lower cover. aim to improve on each grazing. research and farm walks are the only way to see what is possible.
    the Irish farmers journal to a spread every week on grass management for beef farmers, it is as good as the equivalent dairy section or better

    http://www.farmersjournal.ie/2010/05...ml?mn=3&sm=3-1

  8. #8
    DHM
    Guest

    Re: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

    i have seen this system already in place on a beef grazing system already in the UK, rearing angus calves on a waitrose contract margins were still pretty tight i thought. the system is here in cheshire il try dig out the details the chap was part of a grazing discussion group which all but him were dairy

    for winter they were also outwintered on fodder beat but buffer fed with grass silage/brewers/maize

    have you bought a plate meter?

  9. #9
    Willscale
    Guest

    Re: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

    marvin and daibach.

    This system looks at things from a different perspective to what you are. I think the technograzing/ short grazing/ nz style etc. has a lot of obvious merit in dairy but is there the money to sustain it in beef?

    Traditionally the perception is that we need the short grass in order to get the protein for the animals for the growth rates. Basically the mob grazing thing starts to graze the plants higher up the stem and leave a lot of trash on the surface to feed the biology which increases the density of the pasture. Also remember the taller the grass the deeper the roots which means it can extract more from the soil and is a bit more weatherproof.

    Only thing is your sward changes. No longer is it all neat perennial ryegrass - it becomes all sorts of stuff - herbs, forbs, legumes, probably umbellifers, (possibly some ragworts). I know to the traditional eye this would like a godforsaken mess.

    On the silage front the ultimate aim is not to have to make any and keep animals grazing all year round on stockpile forage. The reality is you need an insurance policy and the best way to look at it I reckon is about extending the season, making less hay and lowering fixed costs.

    When you graze short the plants do not have the root matter to regenerate as quickly (so we need artifical N to compensate) with this system they do, and because you are grazing very intensively and putting a lot of energy back in (shit, urine, animal hoofs etc.) you increasing the energy cycle all over the paddock.

  10. #10
    Willscale
    Guest

    Re: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

    Quote Originally Posted by DHM View Post
    i have seen this system already in place on a beef grazing system already in the UK, rearing angus calves on a waitrose contract margins were still pretty tight i thought. the system is here in cheshire il try dig out the details the chap was part of a grazing discussion group which all but him were dairy

    for winter they were also outwintered on fodder beat but buffer fed with grass silage/brewers/maize

    have you bought a plate meter?
    Mob graze or just paddock graze? The systems are a bit different.

  11. #11
    cozzie
    Guest

    Re: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

    I would take some convincing, I always remember what an old boy said that a cows head should be kept as close to the ground as possible. Reckon you will get major weed burden and a very thin grass stand, but please prove me wrong

  12. #12

  13. #13
    nashmach
    Guest

    Re: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

    Quote Originally Posted by cozzie View Post
    I would take some convincing, I always remember what an old boy said that a cows head should be kept as close to the ground as possible. Reckon you will get major weed burden and a very thin grass stand, but please prove me wrong
    I'd agree with this as well - we are stocked at a very low rate at the moment and I have cut back on nitrogen this year and forcing cattle to eat below 4cm and trying not to let covers go above 9in in height and I must say I am very impressed so far especially on our dry land. Cattles performance on 1kg of rolled barley also has been quite impressive.

    Wet land is another matter though as drains have been put in most of it and it needs to be reseeded over the next 3-4 years to get rid of rushes and other weeds.

  14. #14
    DHM
    Guest

    Re: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

    moved every 2 days i think they were but in large enough groups to

  15. #15
    The ruminant
    Guest

    Re: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

    Quote Originally Posted by cozzie View Post
    I would take some convincing, I always remember what an old boy said that a cows head should be kept as close to the ground as possible. Reckon you will get major weed burden and a very thin grass stand, but please prove me wrong
    Quote Originally Posted by nashmach View Post
    I'd agree with this as well - we are stocked at a very low rate at the moment
    You could both be right...!

    What I am hoping is that, because we're actually on a very high stocking rate (both overall and on a daily basis) the grass (and everything else, weeds and all) is getting grazed right down. This benefits the grass (it has plenty of photosynthesising time with lots of leaf area to build a strong root system and is only grazed down intermittently) but doesn't favour weeds (its topping by another method - the 'cow's mouth' method!)

    What I will do is keep reporting on progress. If it goes wrong, I will post it as quickly as if it goes right. I reckon we're all here to learn and you'll either follow my example (when it works) or avoid making the same mistakes (when it fails!)

  16. #16
    dragon farmer
    Guest

    Re: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

    interesting thread, i havebeen doing some research on high density mob grazing, certaintly quite different to rotational/paddock grazing.

  17. #17
    4wd
    Guest

    Re: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

    I'd be concerned about poaching in wet spells, leading to weed problems the following year.
    They do look happy in there, if they fill up quick and have more time cudding and lying down it seems a good thing.

  18. #18
    Willscale
    Guest

    Re: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

    Quote Originally Posted by The ruminant View Post
    You could both be right...!

    What I am hoping is that, because we're actually on a very high stocking rate (both overall and on a daily basis) the grass (and everything else, weeds and all) is getting grazed right down. This benefits the grass (it has plenty of photosynthesising time with lots of leaf area to build a strong root system and is only grazed down intermittently) but doesn't favour weeds (its topping by another method - the 'cow's mouth' method!)

    What I will do is keep reporting on progress. If it goes wrong, I will post it as quickly as if it goes right. I reckon we're all here to learn and you'll either follow my example (when it works) or avoid making the same mistakes (when it fails!)
    It won't go wrong. It will just depend on how much you want to manage the system. For example it is crucial you don't go back too soon without sufficent recovery time. Again its a lot of art rather than science stuff. One area you may be dissatisfied is that apparently the perfect cow for this system is around 400kg. If you want to sell the biggest animals in the mart this may be disappointing, as may daily live weight gains if you want to compare to higher input systems. That said for sucklers for the first 15 months of their lives it may be a good option.

    Quote Originally Posted by 4wd View Post
    I'd be concerned about poaching in wet spells, leading to weed problems the following year.
    They do look happy in there, if they fill up quick and have more time cudding and lying down it seems a good thing.
    Apparently not too bad. Firstly the animals are only in one spot for 12-24 hours and your plant roots are deeper and forage have been rested for a few days. So the humus and "bounce-ability" of the soil should be better. This stuff has sprung from Holistic Management Techniques (don't run away ) and and the principle is about using grazing to manage weeds - the argument is overgrazing causes weed issues and overgrazing is a function of time on the same pasture not number of mouths.

    I reckon its exciting stuff but needs discipline to make it work.

  19. #19
    The ruminant
    Guest

    Re: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

    Quote Originally Posted by Willscale View Post
    It won't go wrong.
    Thanks, Will.

    I should point out that Will is my unofficial mentor - it was his studies and subsequent blog that initially made me aware of the principles of mob grazing (the different reports on Will's blog are well worth a read if you're interested, or even if you're sceptical...! the link is http://willoutwest.blogspot.com/2009...anagement.html )

    He's seen it in action and spoken to the farmers who are practicing this for real, so knows far more about it than I do. I should also point out that he's yet to travel from darkest Wales to see it in action here in Hertfordshire, so he can't be held responsible for any mistakes I make!

  20. #20
    Willscale
    Guest

    Re: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

    Quote Originally Posted by The ruminant View Post
    Thanks, Will.

    I should point out that Will is my unofficial mentor - it was his studies and subsequent blog that initially made me aware of the principles of mob grazing (the different reports on Will's blog are well worth a read if you're interested, or even if you're sceptical...! the link is http://willoutwest.blogspot.com/2009...anagement.html )

    He's seen it in action and spoken to the farmers who are practicing this for real, so knows far more about it than I do. I should also point out that he's yet to travel from darkest Wales to see it in action here in Hertfordshire, so he can't be held responsible for any mistakes I make!
    And equally I gotta admit I've got no practical experience of it at all.

    I went to look at Holistic Management and mob grazing emerged as for me one of the most interesting aspects of it and I felt it had potential in the UK esp for suckler cows and the carbon debate. And also because of at the time the increasing pressure on the eat less meat debate with climate change. I pretty much asked all the questions you all would ask and so a lot of what I write is mostly the ideas of what the experts out there told me.

    Greg Judy; Neal Dennis; Gabe Brown; Terry Gompert; Chad Peterson; Kirk Gadzia; Jay Fuhrer; Allan Savory; George Wagner; Quivira Coalition; Graham Finlayson; George Gundry; Abe Collins; Joel Salatin; Darren Doherty are all worth looking at if you are intrigued.

    If anybody wants to get a group together to do a farm walk and listen to a few presentations on this like we did at the no till day let me know and I think we could pull it off - It may have equal potential.

  21. #21
    NZBob
    Guest

    Re: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

    Quote Originally Posted by Willscale View Post
    marvin and daibach.


    When you graze short the plants do not have the root matter to regenerate as quickly (so we need artifical N to compensate) with this system they do, and because you are grazing very intensively and putting a lot of energy back in (shit, urine, animal hoofs etc.) you increasing the energy cycle all over the paddock.
    While thats probley true, grazing to a low residual on a 20 day rotation is very clover friendly and as a result theres a lot more nitrogen in the system anyway.

    My gut feeling is that this type of grazing will work well with cows and calves, but struggle to see how it fits into high performance dairy or beef finishing systems.

  22. #22
    Willscale
    Guest

    Re: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

    Quote Originally Posted by NZBob View Post
    While thats probley true, grazing to a low residual on a 20 day rotation is very clover friendly and as a result theres a lot more nitrogen in the system anyway.

    My gut feeling is that this type of grazing will work well with cows and calves, but struggle to see how it fits into high performance dairy or beef finishing systems.
    I would pretty much agree at the moment but I still think there is potential to stock heavier, at less cost to a good environmental benefit with this.

    Most of the stock in the states is of course finished in feedlots and so many of those using this system would be cow/calf operations until about 15 months or less. A lot of the Americans I met were quite enthusiastic about the grass finished beef thing but to them it was a niche whereas we're more pasture dominated for longer anyway.

    I did meet an organic dairy farmer doing this though but they are few and far between. Understandably so as they can afford the inputs with higher turnover.

    I really see potential for this in UK sucklers (and more). In fact the OP has already proved to himself he has more grazing this year than before at less cost. Onward and upward.

    BTW Bob there was a bloke from Colorado who was out in New Zealand a bit talking about this for a time apparently. I didn't meet him but you ever remember anything on the grapevine?

  23. #23
    NZBob
    Guest

    Re: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

    My brother has an Californian girlfriend at the moment, she was very impressed that we did grass feed beef, surprised that McDonald's were buying it though.

    A guy from Colorado doesn't ring any bells. I'm pretty sure there are people practicing at least a form of this type of grazing in NZ, I just don't know any.

  24. #24
    DHUGILL
    Guest

    Re: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

    As one who has spent alot of time researching and travelling North America looking at mob grazing it is great to see such a contructive debate on this forum.
    A few findings from my work which may have been missed
    If you want to be a ryegrass junkie forget it. rapid moves of cattle (the most extreme guys move 4 times per day) will give a greater diversity of plants.The key to it from a Holistic Management point is do not return to a field until the plant has recovered from the previous graze.This allows plants that would not survive the traditional 21 day paddock rotation or set stocking to prosper.
    Trampling is another key element this will push dead plant material from the previous grazing into the soil to feed the microbes.
    Don't forget the dung beetle an American field walk would not be complete without disecting a cowpat to look for one but don,t forget some wormers kill them.
    The best bit of mob grazing for me is fly control.The life cycle of a fly is such that by the time the insect is ready to fly onto the cow the mob, due to the rapid moves is too far away for the fly to reach it .

    for more inspiration visit www.holisticmanagement.org

    look foreward to the open day

  25. #25
    OogieM
    Guest

    Re: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

    We intensive grazing but not as tight as the current fad mob grazing.

    From what we've found with our sheep the limiting factor is that our Black Welsh Mountain sheep cannot be pushed into a mob tight enough or they push the electric fences too much and get tangled. So we graze more like traditional MIG, 2-5 week rotations and 3-5 days on a section before moving.

    Locally the big western range flocks are effectively mob grazed, often they won't come back to a place for a year or more.

    The other folks that seem to be doing well with it are finishing beef and dairy. The cow calf folks do not do as well, I think the pairs can't stand the high density stocking needed.

    Graze magazine has more useful info about it from farmers actually doing it but I don't know if you can get it over there.

    One thing all the real farmer articles mention is the disposition and temperament of the animals used. They must like being crowded. Most range cattle won't do it but the bison will so it's not domestication per se but rather herd mentality.

    Sure does improve the ground and increase the grazing whether you go for full on mob grazing or just ordinary MIG

  26. #26
    Willscale
    Guest

    Re: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

    Quote Originally Posted by DHUGILL View Post
    rapid moves of cattle (the most extreme guys move 4 times per day) will give a greater diversity of plants.The key to it from a Holistic Management point is do not return to a field until the plant has recovered from the previous graze.This allows plants that would not survive the traditional 21 day paddock rotation or set stocking to prosper.
    Trampling is another key element this will push dead plant material from the previous grazing into the soil to feed the microbes.
    Don't forget the dung beetle an American field walk would not be complete without disecting a cowpat to look for one but don,t forget some wormers kill them.
    The best bit of mob grazing for me is fly control.The life cycle of a fly is such that by the time the insect is ready to fly onto the cow the mob, due to the rapid moves is too far away for the fly to reach it .
    The guys I met who had moved to this from MIG Grazing said to me was that with MIG they ran out of grass and had to still make too much hay and inputs. MIG isn't wrong btw, this is just different.

    Ivermectin crucifies the dung beetle and without it pats get broken down and assimilated very quickly. I think they say Cydectin (?) is still ok.

    Quote Originally Posted by OogieM View Post

    One thing all the real farmer articles mention is the disposition and temperament of the animals used. They must like being crowded. Most range cattle won't do it but the bison will so it's not domestication per se but rather herd mentality.

    Sure does improve the ground and increase the grazing whether you go for full on mob grazing or just ordinary MIG
    I agree sheep are a lot more difficult. And in the case of sheep once a week may be fine because their hoof impact is less.

    I've been told that all the animals can develop herd instinct but agree it may take a bit of time. Put it this way when we stick our animals in a shed they develop a form of herd instinct there.

    More reads for the interested:

    Dan Dagget - Gardeners of Eden
    Beyond the Rangeland Conflict
    Alan Savory - Holistic Management (v. hard in the beginning)

  27. #27
    The ruminant
    Guest

    Re: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

    Quote Originally Posted by DHUGILL View Post
    Trampling is another key element this will push dead plant material from the previous grazing into the soil to feed the microbes.
    I've attached three more photographs. The first one is the same one I posted at the start of this thread, showing the calf in very tall grass/thistles. The second one is taken from the same spot the following day, when all the cattle (except one cow and calf) had moved onto the next patch of grazing.

    I've put my welly in there for perspective (and had to hop over the electric fence to take the photograph - the things I do for BFF!). Anyway, hopefully the photograph shows just how effectively and quickly the cows clear the area, and how what is not eaten is trampled firmly into the ground to mulch the soil. (we had a sharp shower last night and the ground under the mulch is still damp, whereas patches where the grass has been grazed right off and there is just bare soil/stubble, the soil has already dried out on top)

    These tall grasses / thistles will have been dragging nutrients up from deep down in the soil. 90%+ of these will have passed through the animals and are now sitting on top of the soil, ready to feed the next growth of grass.

    The final photograph (taken on Saturday 5th June) shows how leaving more leaf aids recovery of the grass. The strip on the left was grazed on Sunday 23rd May and, with hindsight, was grazed down a little too much. The strip on the right was grazed on Monday 24th May and I left a little more leaf on there. As the photograph shows, the later-grazed strip is much greener and is growing away well, whilst the left hand strip has only just started to regrow, almost two weeks later.

  28. #28
    The ruminant
    Guest

    Re: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

    Quote Originally Posted by OogieM View Post
    The other folks that seem to be doing well with it are finishing beef and dairy. The cow calf folks do not do as well, I think the pairs can't stand the high density stocking needed.

    One thing all the real farmer articles mention is the disposition and temperament of the animals used. They must like being crowded.
    I have read of some of the problems people have had with cow-calf groups (scouring calves etc). So far, we've had no problems which may be down to the fact that the calves can run under the wire and spend a lot of their time lying up in long, fresh, ungrazed grass.

    Also, our cows are used to been crowded, as they spend all winter in a shed, feeding shoulder to shoulder each day.

    Quote Originally Posted by DHUGILL View Post
    Don't forget the dung beetle an American field walk would not be complete without disecting a cowpat to look for one but don,t forget some wormers kill them.
    Quote Originally Posted by Willscale View Post
    Ivermectin crucifies the dung beetle and without it pats get broken down and assimilated very quickly. I think they say Cydectin (?) is still ok.
    This is a very interesting point. I have half a dozen herefords which I keep on some land away from here. They have never been wormed, the land doesn't have any fertiliser, sprays etc applied and has very diverse plant species. What is incredible is that, within a week, their cow pats are in little pieces, spread out over approximately a square yard area. Within a month, they're completely gone.

    The main group of cattle (these in the photographs) are grazed on fertilised ground, and were given ivermectin prior to turnout. Their pats just sit on top of the soil, slowly drying out. Even those sitting on land grazed on 10th-11th May are untouched. The contrast is unbelievable and shows just how 'dead' our soil is.

    All the mob grazing experts agree it's really all about the soil. Get the soil functioning properly, full of humus, earthworms etc and the grass will grow.

  29. #29
    organic guy
    Guest

    Re: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

    Ruminant
    Brilliant thread
    Fascinated about root loss figures with consumption of top growth.
    Do you have any idea of kg DM on fields before grazing and after?
    Your regrowth look very clean so I feel you are grazing to similar to a dairy level ie 1500 kg DM /ha. My feeling would be you are starting at 4000 kg plus? We(ideally) start at 3000kg (6 -8 in) and finish at 1500 kg(3 in)
    On that basis you are removing a greater %
    Is the build up of root before more significant?

  30. #30
    The ruminant
    Guest

    Re: Mob (or planned high density) grazing

    Quote Originally Posted by organic guy View Post
    Ruminant
    Brilliant thread
    Fascinated about root loss figures with consumption of top growth.
    Do you have any idea of kg DM on fields before grazing and after?
    Your regrowth look very clean so I feel you are grazing to similar to a dairy level ie 1500 kg DM /ha. My feeling would be you are starting at 4000 kg plus? We(ideally) start at 3000kg (6 -8 in) and finish at 1500 kg(3 in)
    On that basis you are removing a greater %
    Is the build up of root before more significant?
    Thanks! I'm afraid I don't know what the DM is - I don't own a plate meter, but I would guess, at this time of the year, it's easily going to be 4000kg+ DM/ha when they go in to a new patch of ground.

    The strips shown on the photographs (grazing 23/24 May) would have been grazed to c.3" (LHS) and c.4" (RHS). Recently, I have been trying to leave a little more leaf - say 5"-6" - as I'm trying to maximise speed of regrowth. I also work on the principle that what doesn't get eaten this time round will get eaten next time.

    Regarding root development, I've yet to dig any holes to test it, so my comments about this have been based on research into root growth carried out by other people. I will take my spade out there shortly and will post what I find.

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