Livestock Performance for Sheep and Cattle Grazing Lowland Permanent Pasture: Benchmarking Potential of Forage-Based Systems

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Orr, R. J., Griffith, B. A., Rivero-Viera, J. and Lee, M. R. F. 2019. Livestock Performance for Sheep and Cattle Grazing Lowland Permanent Pasture: Benchmarking Potential of Forage-Based Systems . Agronomy. 9 (2), p. 101.

AuthorsOrr, R. J., Griffith, B. A., Rivero-Viera, J. and Lee, M. R. F.
Abstract

Here we describe the livestock performance and baseline productivity over a two-year period, following the establishment of the infrastructure on the North Wyke Farm Platform across its three farmlets (small farms). Lowland permanent pastures were continuously stocked with yearling beef cattle and ewes and their twin lambs for two years in three farmlets. The cattle came into the farmlets as suckler-reared weaned calves at 195 ± 32.6 days old weighing 309 ± 45.0 kg, were housed indoors for 170 days then turned out to graze weighing 391 ± 54.2 kg for 177 days. Therefore, it is suggested for predominantly grass-based systems with minimal supplementary feeding that target live weight gains should be 0.5 kg/day in the first winter,; 0.9 kg/day for summer grazing and 0.8 kg/day for cattle housed and finished on silage in a second winter. The sheep performance suggested that lambs weaned at 100 days and weighing 35 kg should finish at 200 days weighing 44 to 45 kg live weight with a killing out percentage of 44%. Good levels of livestock production are possible with grass and forage-based systems using little or no additional supplementary concentrate feeds.

Keywordssheep; cattle; grazing; permanent pasture; fertiliser; lowland
Year of Publication2019
JournalAgronomy
Journal citation9 (2), p. 101
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.3390/agronomy9020101
Web address (URL)https://www.mdpi.com/2073-4395/9/2/101
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Funder project or codeS2N - Soil to Nutrition - Work package 2 (WP2) - Adaptive management systems for improved efficiency and nutritional quality
ASSIST - Achieving Sustainable Agricultural Systems
The North Wyke Farm Platform [2012-2017]
Publisher's version
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online21 Feb 2019
Publication process dates
Accepted18 Feb 2019
PublisherMDPI
Copyright licenseCC BY
ISSN2073-4395

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