How to feed brassica crops in the dairy farming field?

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  • You need to first estimate the amount of fresh matter which will be offered to the herd on a daily basis (i.e. the size of the break). You need to use trial and error method in allocation, until and unless you have an efficient way of estimating yield. It would be better if you start with a small allocation and grow it gradually.
  • Though research proved that kale can be fed at 100% of the diet, this will need a very high level of management. You need to feed at least 20% of the dry matter intake as grass silage or straw.
  • Brassicas should be strip-grazed.
  • Crop breaks should be longer and narrow rather than short and wide. This allows access to the cows for the fresh break and trampling can be kept to a minimum.
  • Slowly try to habituate the animals to brassica crops over at least one week.
  • Also, make sure that the fencing is very safe and secure as poisoning can occur if animals overgraze or gorge on the crop.
  • You need to feed a quality mineral high in iodine and copper.
  • Make sure that you are grazing the crop out before flowering because the brassica crops which are flowering are poisonous. Set out the time for the final grazing to be completed before mid-March.
  • It is not recommended to feed brassica crops in frosty conditions. It is better to feed only when the frost has thawed.
  • For the cows which are milking, brassicas should not exceed 40% of the total dry matter intake as there would be a risk of milk taint.
Dairy Cow Feed.

Dairy Cow Feed.

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