The objectives of this review are (i) to examine the role of continuous stocking management in grazing experiments and on farm; (ii) to discuss the measurement of sward surface height; (iii) and to present experimental liveweight gain data obtained from calves continuously stocked from weaning to nine months of age. Sward height can be used as a guide in cultivar evaluations to maintain equal sward conditions between plots and treatments using put-and-take and continuous stocking management. Continuous stocking management can also be used on farm to achieve the recommended liveweight targets for dairy calves. However, further research is needed to determine the optimum sward height for calves. Weaned Friesian dairy heifers continuously stocked from November 2000 to April 2001 at Dexcel, Hamilton, and grazed to a mean sward height of 5 cm, steadily gained 0.8 kg/day, reaching a final mean of live weight of 226 kg at 9 months of age. The average stocking rate over this period was 7.1 calves/ha and the total liveweight gain was 822 kg/ha. These calves achieved the recommended liveweight targets set for replacement dairy heifers.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 62, Palmerston North, 124-127, 2002
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