17 January 1996

Grass group set up

GRASS breeders in the UK and their agents have set up the Grass Research and Advisory Service (GRAS).

The organisation, which is co-ordinated by and will communicate on behalf of the British Society of Plant Breeders (BSPB), aims to encourage farmers to develop a systematic approach to re-seeding leys. It will also advise on management techniques and varietal selection.

Roger Turner, chairman of GRAS and chief executive of BSPB, says the body aims to exploit the massive potential to increase profitability by improving grass management techniques.

"Recent concerns over the source of livestock feeds, escalating bought-in feed costs and falling milk prices have made effective utilisation of grass crucial to livestock farmers long-term business," says Dr Turner.

The organisation has also appointed a technical adviser, Robin Turner, currently forage technical manager with Nickersons Seeds. He will provide technical advice on grass breeding and management, and will also interpret trial and research information.