Starting the winter with adequate feed cover and rotation length is vital, as there are very few opportunities during winter and early spring for any shortfalls to be filled by pasture growth being greater than feed demand.
Note: This is a prototype – feedback is welcome. Email:firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Autumn Rotation Plan uses the same concept as the spring rotation planner; it maps out the rate of change in area allocation required to meet rotation length targets between the start and end of autumn. It can also be used to guide and monitor average pasture cover against target over the same period.
When to use the autumn rotation planner
The Autumn Rotation Plan should be used during March until May. It can be started anytime from March 1 to April 30 and the end point is always May 31. While its mainly used to keep pasture cover and rotation length above minimum levels, it’s also important that there is not too much cover on the farm at the start of winter.
Key instructions or supporting documents for Autumn Rotation Planner
For successful use of the planner knowledge is required of likely winter pasture growth rates for the farm from mid-May to mid-July, relative to the likely feed demand over this period. To plan autumn rotation targets correctly you need to determine if winter feed demand is likely to be greater than or less than winter pasture growth.
Guidelines for autumn rotation length based on likely winter pasture growth rates
(by mid month)
If winter feed demand is greater than winter pasture growth (cold areas where wintering is on the farm, or warmer winters with high stocking rates) then the following rotation guidelines apply
30 days = 1/30 th of the farm area
If winter feed demand is less than winter pasture growth then the following rotation guidelines apply
(low stocking rates , wintering off, barns , crops etc)