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