Date: 08/2020
Whilst most grass fields will have produced 70-80% of their out-put for the year, please don’t stop looking after them now. You would not dream of neglecting a cow if she was “drying off” or a ewe if you had just weaned her lambs, you would start laying the foundations for the next productive season. Think of your pasture in the same way.
Firstly to get that important final 25-30% production (might be as much as 3-5t of DM) keep nutrition at optimal levels, perennial ryegrass has the potential to continue to tiller right through to December, increasing that important ground cover not only to suppress weeds but to give the new structure above and below ground which will proved next years production. If the grass is not fed, it will stop giving leafy growth and put up multiple seed heads which will not only weaken the plant but be rejected by grazing livestock.
Keep a keen eye on swards which may be carrying excess grass, these are the leys that could get infestations of Crown Rust (mainly prevalent in the Southern parts of UK) Keep grazing platforms tight and top off any excess grass and maintain nutrition. Crown Rust spores attack older laxly managed swards more often when the weather conditions are right.
Identify those fields which underperformed again this year and CULL as you would a three quarter cow or a baron ewe! Make those decisions now you can not afford to carry a lame duck for another 12 months!