19 April 1996

Views from NZ

GRAZING management gets a kick-start this summer as part of a major initiative led by the British Grassland Society. Its bringing a New Zealand consulting officer to the UK to discuss use of grazed grass in a series of on-farm meetings. The consultants visit is being sponsored by the BGS and Midland Bank and supported by farmers weekly.

The aim is to encourage better use of grass. Why? Because improved grazing management offers the greatest potential for improving bottom-line profits. The BGS recognises that current high returns may not last. Future survival will depend on low cost production based on grazed grass. Take New Zealand, which survives without subsidies. Here grass/clover swards are the basis of economic production.

The Kiwis are first-class at using grass – so expert that their consultants are in demand to teach their techniques. In Ireland producers have been using New Zealand consultants in this way to help improve grass use for years.

The profit-orientated meetings, to be staged in England and Wales until August, are open to all local BGS members. Cost is £30 for three discussion meetings. Each will be limited to 15-20 producers.

The first meetings are in Devon on April 29 (01363-775503); the next in Cornwall from May 1-3 (01326-372986).

Contact your local grassland society for details of these and following meetings throughout the country.

NZ consultant Mark Blackwell – in the UK to discuss grass use.