It is that time of year again when your pasture starts going to seed. As a farmer this growth stage is an unproductive use of growing energy, topping or mowing to remove the seed head, will reduce the energy your pasture puts into reproduction and will promote green leafy growth that your animals love to eat.
Here are 10 things you should know about topping your pasture
1 Topping removes the stalky seed head that is low in energy to your animals.
2 Topping promotes new high quality leafy growth.
3 Topping can be done before or after grazing.
4 Topping your thistles in the rain has been known to kill them.
5 Different grasses can seed at different times, keep this in mind when planning your topping.
6 Ideally topping should be done in the early seed head development stage of growth
7 Topping can be done with either a slasher type mower or hay mover set up high.
8 The ideal topping height depends on your pasture type, aim for just above the leaf, usually about 100-150mm.
9 Topping makes your paddocks look real good.
10 Your animals know the leaf is tastier than the stalks, they will love you for it.
DIY advice for lifestylers, written by Kiwi Cattle Yards owner, Euan Seymour.