Pasture-based dairy systems have several advantages. However, the number of grazing dairy cattle in the Netherlands is decreasing, partly as a result of scaling. Therefore, grazing research focuses on providing farmers, students and advisers with tools to optimize grazing whilst also improving efficiency. The aim of this study was i) to estimate the dry matter intake (DMI) from grazing on commercial dairy farms and the variation of this DMI throughout the season, ii) to estimate the associated feeding costs, and iii) to present this in a practical way. A DMI-dashboard was developed to get day-to-day insight in DMI and feeding costs. It was tested on nine commercial dairy farms. Data show that there was a huge difference in DMI by grazing (800 to 1900 kg DM cow-1 yr-1). The between-farm variation in feeding costs was much larger than the within-year variation and is a good reflection of the differences in DMI by grazing between the different individual farms. By comparing results of individual farms in a network setting, the insight in the effect of grazing increased. This led to increased skills of farmers, students and advisers in optimizing grazing systems.
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