Winter management practices to optimise early spring pasture production: a review


  • A.J. Wall
  • D.R. Stevens
  • B.R. Thompson
  • C.L. Goulter



The performance of the national ewe flock has increased significantly in the past 20 years. Pasture management in winter and early spring has a large impact on the success of the subsequent seasons. Overgrazing in winter can reduce spring pasture production by up to 80%. Treading and pugging damage can also decrease spring pasture production by 10% for every 10% of bare area created. Maintaining pasture cover at over 2000 kg DM/ha can improve pasture growth, and leaving a residual pasture mass of more than 1200 kg DM/ha also aids in pasture production in late winter. Techniques such as feed budgeting, longer winter feeding periods (4 day cf. 1 day shifting) and increasing the control of feed intake during late pregnancy can be used to help achieve the goals of higher pasture residuals and increased pasture growth and availability. More tools for managing the transition from winter rotational grazing to spring continuous grazing would help farmers. Keywords: early spring production, grazing management, pasture cover, residual cover, treading.







Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 3 4 > >>