Warm years tell the livestock farmer 3 things: At some point you will have to deal with drought, you will have to recover from these dry conditions and, finally, you will have to prepare for the next dry period.

Drought recovery

Elke veehouder is dankbaar als er na een lange droge periode regen- of aanzienlijke sneeuwval is. Het gras begint al snel te groeien, de weides bieden begrazing en de potentie om voedergewassen te oogsten wordt vernieuwd.

The recovery process depends on how you, as a livestock farmer, manage your pastures before and during drought. So which grazing management you apply, you keep your meadows short, you will suffer from drought faster

Eén van de belangrijkste taken op een melkveebedrijf is een voortdurende evaluatie van je weides. Aangezien overbegrazing vaak voorkomt tijdens een drogere periode, is het belangrijk de focus te leggen bij het bieden van mogelijkheden voor een snel herstel van je weides.

An important tip: ALWAYS use a long crop, the more organic matter above the ground the more massive the root system in the ground. The better the water retaining properties!

**What is a long crop then?;
A crop that grows to a height of 50-70 cm, 
e.g; Saladebuffetten or clump-forming grasses.

4 points to keep in mind:

  1. Existing plants can be weakened by the dry conditions and overgrazing. As a result, they will later be less resistant to normal grazing pressure.
  2. A period of overgrazing increases weed germination and growth.
  3. Make use of strip-grazing (pulserend weiden) hierdoor verhoogt het gehalte organische stof in de bodem, en daarbij de draught resistance en waterbergend vermogen.
  4. Keep a close eye on your pastures. Every opportunity for recovery and regrowth must be seized.

Preparation is KEY

If you happen to live in a region of the long where there is no drought, you're in luck. The chance that you will be affected by drought in the Netherlands is very high.

Here are some tips to prepare for drought:
– Take steps to reduce the production of your forage crop by maximizing the soil fertility , reduce weed pressure and use more productive and drought tolerant forage crops, eg; Salad buffets and clump-forming grasses.
– Increase the possibilities of using strip grazing. This can be done by dividing your pastures into smaller parts with pigtail posts or by using the grid spiders. As a result, you give livestock 2-5 smaller pieces per day and your fields get more rest.

Do you want to know exactly how to prevent drought?

Then make THIS short Online Course: Drought plan. In this short course we teach you tools and tricks how you can improve your management against dry periods with small adjustments!