Research at Massey University has shown that a spring grazing management laxer than the conventional intensive grazing allowing some early ryegrass seedhead development before close grazing at anthesis ("Late Control") may result in improved summer-autumn pasture production. Comparisons between conventional and late control spring grazing managements for dairy cows were carried out, on a paddock scale, during 1992/93. Late control swards showed enhanced dry matter production before (24.5% increase - P<0.05) and after (32.0% increase - P<0.10) the control grazing in early December. Concomitant measurements of animal performance revealed that the increased pasture production during the summer-autumn period could be effectively converted into milk by dairy cows, and resulted in an increase in milk-solids production of about 10% per cow (P<0.10). The implications of these results to dairy management systems are discussed in the context of pasture responses to spring management and alternative conservation strategies.

SC, Da Silva, J Hodgson, PNP Matthews, C Matthew, and CW Holmes

Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 54, , 79-82, 1994
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