Guide gives growers advice on teaming up with stock farmers

Arable and livestock farmers could be working closer together, using arrangements such as muck-for-straw deals and grazing cropping land, to improve the sustainability of farming.

With economic and environmental issues under the microscope as Britain prepares to leave the EU, a guide entitled Livestock and the arable rotation looks to inspire farmers to work together for their mutual benefit.

Published by the AHDB it is targeted at managers of arable-based systems who are thinking about such opportunities for the first time.

See also: How one veg grower uses livestock to improve soil health

The guide includes sections on leys, cover crops, forage crops, maize, outdoor pig production and manures, with the key points covered when considering making formal agreements.

“Many arable farmers want to optimise the long-term productivity of their land and this means getting the rotation right,” said Teresa Meadows from AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds.

“Working with livestock enterprises can help diversify income streams, spread production risks and play a role in improving soil health and reducing weed burdens,” she added.

The guide illustrates several cases, such as one partnership which made a 31p a head a day saving by outwintering dairy heifers on a brassica forage crop compared with housing the animals.

It can be accessed via the AHDB’s website.