As we patiently wait for drier conditions to start the hay and silage season, farmers taking part in the Grazing Matcher group are getting ready to put what they’ve been learning into practice.
Treeton farmer Nick Healy hosted the August meeting where the group heard from Smart Cow consultant Dario Nandapi on how to optimise the quality of hay and silage produced and minimise wastage.
Overall, the key messages were to aim for a high-quality product, measuring quality through having representative samples analysed by feed testing laboratories, and storing hay and silage properly.
Grazing Matcher facilitator Jeisane Accioly noted that feed testing enables development of a feed budget, sustains production and welfare of animals, and matches feed demands to feed requirements. This can also decrease greenhouse gas production decreasing the carbon footprint of the system.
Dario recommended to cut early to optimise quality, and this can also lift yield. Once the pasture has been cut, preferably mid morning after heavy dew lifts, the next requirement is to conserve it as quickly as possible before it’s broken down and loses quality.
The Grazing Matcher project aims to improve productivity and profits for farmers and minimise impacts to the environment by supporting farmers to adopt best practice grazing management across their sheep and beef farms.
Grazing Matcher is a joint initiative of the Western Beef Association and South West Catchments Council and is supported by Meat and Livestock Australia under the Profitable Grazing Systems program, and Revitalising Geographe Waterways.
For more information or to sign up to be part of next year’s group, contact us on 9781 0111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org