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Get better flock results by supplementing grazing

Supplementing grazing for optimum results is one of the topics for debate at this year’s North Sheep event on 3 June. The seminar sessions will be kicked off by David Thornton, with a focus on maximising one of the most economical feed sources on farm – grass.

“To get the best return from the marketplace producers need to finish this year’s lambs as efficiently as possible,” says Mr Thornton, Rumenco’s technical manager.  “However, post weaning is a time when traditionally lambs can stand-still, when ideally we still want them to be aiming for an average daily weight gain of approximately 200g/day.”

Mr Thornton explains that as the weather changes we need to remember that the nutrient quality of grazing declines. “Specifically, levels of some important vitamins and minerals, along with energy and protein levels fall.

“Quality grass in the early part of summer is usually sufficient to support ewes and lambs and is our most cost effective on-farm feed resource. But, later in the year, supplements can be a good way of balancing grazing to avoid any potential deficiencies in macro- and micro-nutrition, to maintain flock performance and avoid setbacks.”

Mr Thornton adds that there is lots of evidence to support the financial benefits to farmers of supplementing grass-based diets. “On-farm trials have shown that lambs grazing with supporting supplements, had significantly better daily liveweight gains than lambs on a purely forage-based diet.  This highlights the benefit of supplementing grazing as a very cost effective way to maximise flock health, performance and profitability,” he adds.

“The technical seminars held at events like NSA’s North Sheep, are an excellent opportunity for visitors to quiz experts and ask questions about issues they may be facing at home on the farm.”

NSA North Sheep, organised by the Northern Region of the National Sheep Association, is a biennial technical event for the sheep sector. The 2015 event takes place at Millstone Moor Farm, Cockermouth, Cumbria on 3 June by kind permission of Neil and Sally Marston.

Rumenco are sponsors of the seminars, which commence at 11.00am. 

The Rumenco stand is in marquee B, stand number 81.