|Pasture consumption is the amount of pasture consumed on a farm through direct grazing or conservation (hay, silage). Both pasture growth and grazing management impact on pasture consumption. |
High pasture consumption results from high pasture growth and efficient grazing by the animals. Low pasture consumption results from poor growth and/or use of pasture grown. Poor irrigation and drainage management may cause low pasture growth and consumption; management should aim at optimizing the percentage of pasture grown which is consumed.
Survey work in northern Victoria/southern NSW found that only 10 % of farms had pasture consumption rates in excess of 11.5 t/ha. Low consumption rates may indicate that your irrigation and drainage management could be improved. Further information is available from your dairy extension officer or farm consultant.
If you do not know how much pasture you are growing, there are a number of programs available to assist you in estimating pasture consumption. Taking Stock is a program for dairy farmers to assist in the review of their business performance, including the estimation of pasture production. The Dairy Extension Team also runs workshops that will help you assess how much pasture you are growing.
Information is available from the following sources:
How much of the pasture do my cows eat?