Decide where the rotation should be. Remember, the rotation will last up to 100 days. The first paddocks should be the best lambing paddocks to give sufficient recovery time, but consider the wet fields too – these will need to be grazed opportunistically when conditions allow.
Plan the duration – start from 10 days after mating until around three weeks before lambing.
Do a feed budget – there is a free tool available – Winter Feed Budget for All Grass Wintering. This will help to understand how the grass covers will respond and how much grass you can expect at lambing time.
- What grass is available now? Measure grass and calculate the average cover for the All Grass Wintering area
- How much grass can we budget per day for the flock? 2% of ewe bodyweight is her maintenance requirement during early to mid pregnancy
- How much grass will grow? To start with, we don’t know – therefore we can budget for zero, 5kg and 10 kg DM/ha/day to see what might happen and plan for the worst case scenario – zero grass growth.
Doing this ahead of time will help you understand whether it would be worth using tactical nitrogen or closing up fields earlier to build up the starting cover.
Poppy Frater, email@example.com
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