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Calculating Daily Requirement

24 September 2018

Field of forage beet being strip grazed by a flock of sheep, with a farm steading in the backgroundCalculating the daily requirement of the crop is a simple task, which is extremely beneficial to making the crop last longer, while balancing the nutritional requirements of the livestock.  If livestock are given too large an area, they are prone to eating all leaf material (high in protein) and then going back to the bulb (high in energy).  This also results in wastage of the crop from trampling.

The first step is to gather material from within a 1m square quadrat on a representative area of the field.  This should then be weighed, with the weight being multiplied by 10,000 to give you the fresh weight/ha.  This can then be multiplied by the estimated dry matter of the crop (stubble turnips 9%) divide by 100 and you have your dry matter/ha.

Using the dry matter (DM) yield a daily allocation can be calculated depending on the stock class grazing the crop e.g. stubble turnips.  An example is shown below for a 70kg ewe.


 Example: 70kg ewe
ATotal Estimated Intake (using 2% of liveweight)1.40kg DM/day
BStubble turnips Inclusion of The Diet (allowing 30% fibrous forage)70%
CDaily Requirement of stubble turnips (AxB)0.98kg DM
DNumber of Animals Grazed500
EDaily Requirement of stubble turnips (CxD)490kg DM
FEstimated Crop Yield (DM/m2) (dry matter/ha – 4t DM/ha @ 70% utilisation – (4kg/m2 x 0.7)2.8 kg/DM/m2
GTotal Grazing Area Required/Day (E/F)175 m2
HLength of Electric Fence (Feed Face)150m
IWidth of Fence Moved Per Day (G/H)1.2m/day

Kirsten Williams,

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