Keeping high quality grass in front of cows is essential in order to maintain quality milk production.

During the spring of this year (2024), it had been very difficult to achieve good residuals, with many paddocks being poached or left with an excessive amount of grass.

This resulted in the quality of the following rotation being negatively affected.

During the summer months of the year, grass quality can easily decrease if managed poorly.

If not managed accordingly, you could potentially be left with a large proportion of stem that will not be grazed out properly.

Grass growth has surpassed demand, with there being an average growth rate around the country of 76kg dry matter (DM)/ha/day, and a demand of 58kg DM/ha/day.


As growth rates continue to improve, it is important to closely monitor your grass and make changes in your grazing rotation when required.

Grass walks should take place frequently during peak months. Walking the fields twice a week at this time of year will allow for rapid intervention and management.

Without regular monitoring of grass, covers can quickly get out of hand. Walking your grass twice a week will allow for the best decisions to be made with the most up-to-date information.

Grass quality

As grass gets ahead of cows, it is time to start shortening your rotation length to make sure cows are going into appropriate covers.

Entering paddocks with high covers will only result in poor residuals, which is a waste of grass and time.

Identifying paddocks that are too strong is crucial – these paddocks need to be mowed and baled.

Trying to graze heavier cover paddocks will only result in poor residuals and they will need to be topped afterwards.

It is essential that you act quickly on these surplus covers in order to have the paddock available for the next rotation.

Paddocks where quality has dropped can also be identified, for instance, when you have a large amount of dung pads and stem.

In cases where residuals are poor, and where a lot of stem and old grass is left in a paddock, topping post-grazing will ensure better quality grass for the next rotation.

You should ensure your topper is set to cut down to 4cm.

Topping is not as ideal as taking out paddocks for bales, as you still waste grass.