Grass growth is slowly increasing and covers are finally beginning to build on grazing swards.

This will relieve the pressure on grazing swards and allow farmers to filter more cattle out to pasture.

As grass growth starts to rise, outlined are five tips to getting the grazing platform back on track as April draws to a close.

1. Fertiliser

Plenty of farmers have held off on applying nitrogen for various reasons. But with grass growth on the rise, now is the time to target productive swards with fertiliser.

Apply 25 to 30 units/acre of nitrogen to drive grass growth over the coming weeks. On swards with low P and K levels, a compound fertiliser can help to increase growth rates, as will a product containing sulphur.

2. Setting up paddocks

On farms that rotationally graze cattle with the help of temporary electric fencing, it is time to set up paddocks for grazing during May and June.

Many farmers have held off on setting up fences to give animals a greater grazing area, as grass growth struggled to meet livestock demand this spring.

3. Batching cows into larger groups

Where cattle have been spread out over the farm, it is time to start batching cows and stores into larger groups.

Ground conditions are improving and able to carry higher stocking densities. If cattle are left spread out over the grazing block, they will nip off regrowth and grass covers will be slower to build.

Batching animals into larger groups will free up paddocks and give a longer rest period between each grazing.

4. Grazing swards tight

As ground conditions improve and grass growth increases, the focus over the coming weeks should be on grazing out paddocks tight to the ground. This will improve sward quality in the next rotation.

This is important for swards that have yet to be grazed and carrying heavy grass covers. Such swards will have a white base. This is dead material that needs cleaned off properly to stimulate regrowth.

5. Turning cattle out

Many farmers will have paused spring turn-out if grass was struggling to regrow on grazed paddocks or ground conditions where marginal.

But with grazing conditions improving, the focus should be on resuming spring turn-out and getting as many cattle back to grass.

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