Freshgrass Check can be carried out for various reasons. In addition to your own visual assessment of the grass in the meadow, you also have the real figures for the nutritional value of the fresh grass.
The most important reasons for having Freshgrass Check carried out are:
- To determine the ideal time for harvesting.
- To have clarity about what cows eat during the grazing season.
- To fine-tune fertilization.
What is the ideal mowing moment? Ask this question in a group of dairy farmers and you will get all kinds of answers. Practical arguments often play a role too: the availability of the contractor or the weather. We see a trend that more and more dairy farmers choose not to leave the moment of mowing to chance. The length of the grass is easy to judge. But what about the nutritional characteristics? Is the grass already 'ripe' to be harvested for perfect feed value? A fresh grass sample can provide a lot of useful information on this. The result is known within five working days.
The right moment to harvest is decisive for the feed value in the silage and therefore for the next stable season. The ideal mowing moment is not the same for every dairy farmer. This is related to the geographical location of the farm (differences in temperature and precipitation), but also to the history of the field (old or new grassland for example), the fertilization strategy, the type of soil and not unimportant: the dairy farmer's ration requirements. Are you feeding fodder beet, for example? Then you probably have different requirements for silage than a fellow dairy farmer who has a large share of silage maize in the ration.
What does the cow eat in the pasture?
When the cows are in the barn, it is known in detail what is in the roughage. Based on that, the ration is put together for healthy cows and perfect milk production. But how is it with cows that walk in the pasture? What's in the fresh grass? It sounds logical to investigate that too. More and more dairy farmers are doing just that. In this way nothing is left to chance and the amount of concentrated feed during the grazing season can be adjusted accordingly.
Finally, the analysis of fresh grass is also useful when assessing various fertilization levels. It provides insight into the relationship between grass quality and fertilization. The palatability of the grass is included through analysis of the sugar and sodium content.