Question 1: If you cut grass will it not start to heat, go off and then cows will refuse to eat it. I tried zero grazing about 15 years ago with a single chop harvester and this was the trouble I had.
Answer: The secret to zero grazing is not to damage the grass. Firstly the single chop will not cut the grass, it actually pulls the grass off the ground with flails. Secondly it blows the grass into a trailer. Without the grass getting into the trailer, damage to the grass has occurred twice. No matter what type of conventional method is available, damage will occur. The Zero Grazer® does not damage the grass.
Question 2: I don’t like the idea of keeping cows in full time. I have problems with lame cows already.
Answer: Depending on how the Zero Grazer® is going to fit into your system cows could actually remain outside longer compared to what you’re doing now. Very few farmers actually house their cow’s full time. However, those who do have advised cows feet have improved and lameness has been reduced. These farmers would have been walking long distances previous to this and much of the lameness resulted when cows had long walks. On the other hand there are customers who have achieved 300 days at grass with the help of the Zero Grazer® and within the 300 days cows were never housed. So it all depends where it will fit into your grazing system and how you plan to use it.
Question 3: Slurry will become a major problem if you house cows full time.
Answer: The cow will not produce any more waste when zero grazed compared to normal grazing. However correct storage facilities must be in place to store slurry. There will be a need to spread the slurry and again the proper machinery to carry out the job. Once an area is clear of grass the ground is available for slurry. This can be applied at a low rate rather than “just get rid of it” attitude that does exist on farms. As the slurry is fresh there is also a more nutrient value available. Grass then grows up through the slurry avoiding any spoilage and back into the grazing system. That could be in either form, zero grazed or grazed.
Question 4: I only have a 60-hp tractor, as my land is dry and flat. Will I need to update to a larger tractor?
Answer: In some cases 80hp will drive any of the machines. Depending on the size of your herd and how the concept will fit into your system one of the smaller Zero Grazer® could suit. The most important factor is the land is dry and flat. Therefore 60hp should be enough. On poor ground, wet or hilly 4wd is always a great addition to any tractor.
Question 5: How can the Zero Grazer® be capable of cutting grass when a herd of cows are unable to graze the field because of poor ground conditions?
Answer: The Zero Grazer® will cut in difficult conditions all within reason. Don’t go into a field that is waterlogged etc. The difference between a herd of cows and the Zero Grazer® is the pressure per sq. inch under a cow’s hoof and pressure per sq. inch under a floatation tyre. Take an average herd of 50 cows entering a paddock in the morning and leaving it that evening. The damage in poor conditions can be bad enough, reducing growth rates and recovery times. The Zero Grazer® goes in once and comes out once and does not stay the day. Also operator experience can be helpful.
Question 6: Can the Zero Grazer® cut silage covers?
Answer: The time required to carry out the job would take a lot of hours depending on length of draw, heavy or light crop, acres to cut. So it will cut heavy covers but the overall answer is no for silage making.
Question 7: I was thinking of using a conventional silage wagon and putting a front mower on my tractor?
Answer: There is nothing stopping you doing this as some farmers have tried before with a certain amount of success, but the majority of them seem to stop after a certain time. Some have purchased a Zero Grazer® in its place while others discontinue zero grazing altogether. Zero Grazer® for zero grazing, silage wagons for silage.
Question 8: It seems an expensive way of trying to get grass to cows.
Answer: Costs will vary from farm to farm, so knowing what will effect this should give the farmer an answer and confirm that the Zero Grazer® is for him or not. It’s relatively simple to work out depending how the concept is going to fit into the existing set up. Extra acres available to graze reduce meal-feeding etc.
Question 9: Is any group of farmers sharing the machine or could this be possible.
Answer: There are different farmers around the country sharing the machine. Some operate totally different systems like liquid milk and 100% spring calving but the Zero Grazer & fits comfortably into both.
Question 10: Any farmer gone on a full zero grazing system?
Answer: Yes some farmers have done this particularly in parts of the country where grazing can be difficult especially with large herds. Farmers have more control and can utilise grass better when cut and fed indoors.