In today’s dairy farming environment, it’s critical to make sure your farm runs as smoothly as possible, which includes managing pastures well.
A good pasture management program requires regular monitoring of grass growth before grazing it again. During wet weather, rubber matting is one of the most effective and sustainable methods of managing your pasture and ensuring your grass stays healthy by providing a comfortable surface for your animals to spend time on for longer periods.
Management of pastures
Long rains and wet soil conditions, along with high stocking densities in paddocks, provide the perfect conditions for soil compaction and pugging. Agricultural practices such as pugging and compaction can result in more soil and contaminants being washed into waterways and can cause further problems on the farm. In order to manage pastures effectively, you must make sure your soil is well-drained and has time to recover between grazing demands. Livestock must be moved elsewhere to allow your grass to recover. It is common to move animals to feed pads, stand-off pads, HerdHomes,agmat.co.nz and shelters. These pads and shelters are commonly covered with concrete, but concrete is cold and hard. Standing animals for long periods of time on this surface is not the most comfortable or safe option. The hard surface of concrete can be slippery and really harm animals’ joints and hooves. Rubber matting can be installed on concrete stand-off surfaces to keep your animals off pasture for longer.
Rubber mats have many benefits
The rubber matting solutions provided by Numat cover a wide range of feed pads, both indoors and outdoors. It simulates true pasture, making cows more comfortable, more confident, and more productive. The end result is increased milk yield, healthier animals, lower vet bills, and improved animal welfare.
In wet weather on your farm, rubber matting is an ideal surface to move your livestock over without causing any injury or discomfort. Check out these examples.
Pads for stand-off
New Zealand dairy farmers are increasingly using stand-off pads. This isn’t surprising – they protect pastures, conserve grass, and prevent mud from accumulating. When you install these stand-off pads with high quality, durable rubber, your stock will stay there much longer than on a concrete surface, giving your pasture time to grow strong and healthy for future grazing.
Herdhomes and Shelters
Concrete surfaces are common in traditional shelters on farms; however, concrete is cold and hard, and if it is not cleaned properly or becomes slippery, keeping animals on it for an extended period can be quite painful and dangerous. Providing excellent cow comfort is Numat cow barn matting. Besides being warmer, drier, and reducing straw waste, it also improves cow health. It has been proven that rubber matting increases cow comfort, mobility, and milk yield while reducing bedding costs and joint injuries.
Pads for feeding
Cows may spend hours, or even days, on feed pads, so making sure their surfaces are comfortable and they can relax is important to their health and welfare. In this case, rubber mats can be a great alternative to concrete, giving cows a non-slip surface that’s easy to keep clean and on which they can comfortably rest.