Grassland & Muck 2014: Forums to take on key farming issues

The Keenan-sponsored seminars at Grassland & Muck 2014, which take place on 21-22 May, will address key issues for livestock farmers

The speakers

Martin Kavanagh

Martin is a specialist cattle consultant with a wide experience in dealing with disease and management issues. He has spent many years working in the industry to advance understanding and communication of technical solutions at farm level.

He is a certified Cow Signals trainer and takes a holistic approach to solutions on farm. His experience ranges from dealing with veterinary issues on farm to analysing animal health issues at corporate level.

See also: Read more from Grassland & Muck 2014

Charlie Morgan

An independent grassland consultant, Charlie worked for IGER/IBERS for 22 years, where he helped develop new grass varieties and grazing methods to benefit UK agriculture. He is an author on more than 60 scientific publications, chairman of HCC’s Scholarship Association, and secretary of the Welsh Federation of Grassland Societies. Since 2009 he has been working across the UK as independent grassland consultant for individual farmers and other organisations.

Cathal Bohane

Cathal is Keenan’s top Irish dairy nutritionist. Having grown up on a dairy farm in West Cork, Cathal went on to study for a degree in Agricultural Science in UCD. He completed a masters in dairy cow nutrition and joined Keenan in 2003, going on to work across Australia, the UK and Ireland. Over the past five years he has been providing Keenan customers with nutrition advice and support in Munster.

Dr Liz Genever

Liz has a degree in animal sciences and a PhD in farm animal welfare and behaviour. She has been working for EBLEX for more than eight years, and has focussed on grass and forage management for the past four years.

She works with producers who are keen to think differently about grassland management, and doesn’t go anywhere without a sward stick.

Ed Green

Ed runs an 323ha mixed family farm in Somerset. He sources cattle from calf rearing units to finish for both premium and mainstream markets, with a focus on getting the most from rotational grazing and home-grown forage. Ed completed a Nuffield Scholarship in 2013, looking at global beef supply and demand, and sat on the Meat South West board, which recently achieved protected geographical indication status for West Country beef and lamb.

Antony Pearce

Antony Pearce farms 384ha in Buckinghamshire and 364ha in the Cotswolds. He keeps 250 February-lambing ewes on 76ha of pasture in Buckinghamshire, and monitors grass and animal performance very closely. Finishing his lambs on creep feed, he plans his grass rotations to maximise productivity and grass quality, and brings in dairy youngstock on a grazing contract to control the grass over the summer.

Professor Brian J Chambers

Brian is head of soils and nutrients at ADAS, a past president of the Institute of Professional Soil Scientists and a chartered scientist. His main interests are the use of organic manure and fertiliser nutrients to the benefit of crops and long-term soil fertility. He has authored more than 200 scientific and conference papers and has experience in the preparation of written texts, including the Code of Good Agricultural Practice and RB209.

Alex Robertson

Alex comes from a farming family and attended Oatridge College in Edinburgh.

He has worked at Coopon Carse in Scotland for more than 25 years, managing the operation for the past 12 years. The dairy enterprise has gained an excellent reputation over this time, for top herd health and welfare as well for Alex’s innovative feeding methods, which have included the feeding of fresh grass.

Hugh Kerr

Hugh has worked in dairy nutrition since 1972. After working in the feed industry for 25 years he joined Keenan as the company’s first full-time nutritionist. He has spent his career working to develop and establish new markets around the world, producing feed strategies and products to enhance a common theme of improving feed conversion efficiency in dairy cattle. These include the practical on-farm use of products such as soda grain, whole crop cereals and single ration TMR.

Paul Newell Price

Paul Newell Price is a senior soil Scientist with ADAS UK. He has more than 20 years’ experience in soil research and advisory work, and is junior chairman of the Institute of Professional Soil Scientists, as well as an approved FACTS trainer. He leads DEFRA projects on soil structural condition, alleviation of compaction, and grassland fertiliser use and planning. He also has a key role in a new DairyCo/EBLEX project to develop an industry standard grassland soil assessment tool.

Forum timetable

These free 30-minute forums, sponsored by Keenan, provide you with the latest advice and thinking on using grass and manures on your farm. They run on both show days and take place in the Forum Theatre on stand 300 in the main trade area.

10.30am: Herd health implications in a seasonal grazing system
Martin Kavanagh, Keenan veterinary director and accredited Cow Signals trainer – Wed 
Cathal Bohane, Keenan Ireland nutritionist – Thur

11.15am: Planning a ley – getting it right
Charlie Morgan, Grassmaster

12pm: Feeding grass for milk production
Cathal Bohane, senior Keenan nutritionist, Ireland

12.45pm: Getting more meat from grass
Dr Liz Genever, EBLEX, 
Ed Green, beef producer – Wed
 Antony Pearce, sheep farmer – Thur

1.30pm: Managing manures to improve your bottom line
Brian Chambers, head of soils and nutrients, ADAS

2.15pm: Zero grazing saved £25,000 in feed costs
Alex Robertson, farm manager for Coopon Carse dairy farm and Hugh Kerr, Keenan International nutrition director

Muck trade area

11am, 1pm, 3pm: Compaction alleviation demonstration
Dr Paul Newell Price, senior soil scientist, ADAS