Achieving target pasture covers in time for lambing

Key points

  • Careful planning is needed to get the correct pasture covers for lambing.
  • Too little cover at lambing will lead to underfeeding of ewes, low milk production and poor lamb growth rates.
  • Too much cover will result in an early decline in feed quality, and a drop-off in milk production and lamb growth.
  • To achieve target covers, you need to have adequate pre-winter cover and to adopt a slow (60-120 day) winter rotation. Strategic nitrogen use may also have a place.
  • Ideal target covers vary between regions, but in most cases pre-lambing covers of 1100-1400 kg DM/ha are appropriate. This equates to 2-3 cm pasture height.
  • Ewes with twins or triplets should be offered pasture at the high end of the range.
  • Ewes with singles can be offered pasture at the low end of the range. If pasture supplies are limited, feed for these ewes can be supplemented with grain.

For more information please download the attached PDF.