3 reasons why there’s no spring flush


Look for these signs if your pasture isn’t plentiful this spring. 

Walk Japan

Words: Nadene Hall

This month, pasture should be bountiful. If it’s not showing signs of growth, three common reasons are:
• overstocking
• low soil fertility
• poor weather

WHY THE FLUSH CAN COME, THEN GO

Even if the spring flush is on track, you need to be prepared for what’s called the ‘pinch period’. This is when spring has persistent cold spells and there is a lack of sun; once the ‘flush’ is eaten off, regrowth can be slow.

TIPS

• don’t graze pasture below 5cm in length – the plant needs this amount of residual leaf to regrow;
• spring grass is high in protein and energy and low in dry matter and fibre – use electric fences to break-feed stock and offer hay to give them additional fibre;
• don’t be persuaded to buy more stock to eat the flush as everyone else has the same thought and the price goes up – it is an excellent time to sell;
• weeds like thistles, ragwort, buttercups and barley grass will grow fast – get started on control methods now.

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NZ Life and Leisure This article first appeared in NZ Life & Leisure Magazine.
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