26 April 1996

Grazing skills are well worth acquiring

ARE you keen to improve the use of grazed grass on the farm? It could make sense financially.

The more grazed grass in the diet, the lower total production costs. And that follows for all classes of stock, and whatever their genetic merit.

New Zealand producers are expert at using grazed grass to reduce production costs. Its a skill developed out of a necessity to survive without subsidies.

In a world of freer trade in Europe that low-cost strategy could safeguard our survival in this country. And in the short term it could certainly lift profits.

For those producers keen to achieve potential performance from their cows on grazed pasture, this seasons on-farm discussion meetings, organised by the British Grassland Society, could prove worthwhile.

Supported by farmers weekly, with sponsorship from the Milk Development Council and Midland Bank, the BGS has bought New Zealand consultant Mark Blackwell to the UK for three months.

Mr Blackwell will offer advice on use of grazed grass to suit specific farm situations at a series of profit-orientated meetings. These will be staged throughout England and Wales until August, and will be open to all local grassland society members.

Cost is £30 for three meetings. Numbers will be limited to aid debate, says the BGS.

The first meetings are to be held in Devon on Monday, Apr 29 (01363-775503); the next in Cornwall from Wednesday to Friday, May 1-3 (01326-372986). Contact your local grassland society for details of these and following meetings throughout the country.