DO IT NOW: AIM TO REDUCE SOIL DAMAGE

At this time of year, the main objective is to maximise the proportion of grazed grass in the diet of grazing animals, however, this must be done without risking sward performance during next year’s grazing period. This may mean that grazing rotations may have to be sped up or back-fencing used.

With increased grazing intensity, soils are more prone to compaction. Recent work carried out by AHDB Dairy has shown that compaction caused by machinery can reduce grass dry matter (DM) yields by 22% and by 14% when compaction is caused by grazing animals. Graziers must ensure that grass yields are not compromised due to compaction.

Using semi-permanent electric fences and tracks will help to ensure sufficient levels of grass utilisation is met while also minimising risk of soil damage.

 

More information can be found in the BRP manual, Improving Soils for Better Returns and the BRP+ document, Electric Fencing for Livestock.