Know How / Grassland management

In the current challenging climate, all livestock producers are under pressure to maximise the cheapest food source – grass.
See the latest thinking on grazing methods, forage systems, reseeding and varieties as well as how others are making more from grass.

Grass Management

MARCH
13
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Case studies

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GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

Why multicut silage worth higher contracting fees for farmer

Switching from four cuts of silage to six is helping a Welsh dairy produce an extra £72,000 worth of milk sold. While the additional cost of cutting grass more frequently…

SHEEP

How a Cumbrian farm saved £18 a ewe

A complete change of mindset has seen a Cumbrian farm halve variable costs a ewe tupped from £34 to £16.53 in just five years.   Paul and Nicola Renison moved…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

How a beef herd delivers £350/cow with deferred mob grazing

A deferred mob grazing system and maternal native cows have helped slash costs and left a cash-only net profit of £350 a cow on one Worcestershire organic farm. Rob Havard…

ASSESSING PERFORMANCE

How share-farming sheep venture is aiming for low-cost system

A large-scale sheep enterprise has identified key performance indicators (KPIs) it can improve to lift flock performance and profit. Rhys Williams is a partner in a sheep production joint venture…

FEED AND NUTRITION

How a farm gets 8,000 litres a cow from 94% home-grown feed

A combination of persistence, innovation and working with nature has helped one organic dairy farmer achieve averages of 8,000 litres a cow from an almost entirely home-grown ration. John Pitts…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

How to become 100% protein efficient using mixed leys

Establishing multi-species leys has enabled a Welsh upland beef and sheep farm to become 100% protein efficient. For Dafydd Parry Jones, Maesllwyni, Penegoes, Powys, the piece of advice given at…

Practical advice

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GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

When to treat grassland weeds for best kill results

Most chemical weed applications fail because farmers apply too late, according to independent grassland consultant George Fisher. “Timing is critical when treating weeds. You need the chemical to absorb through…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

Advice on soil compaction: Which methods to choose

Soils damaged by livestock and machinery significantly reduce the uptake of essential nutrients – they will run off the surface instead of being taken down to the roots. And the…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

Why farmers could be applying lime to the wrong fields

Grassland farmers are being advised to prioritise better-performing leys when liming to ensure they yield the highest return on investment. There is a misconception that rebalancing low pH levels should…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

How to manage soil and grassland for an early turnout

Managing an early spring turnout successfully could be hugely beneficial in years where farmers need to stretch out winter feed stocks. If soils are particularly compacted from the previous year's…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

Beginner's guide to rotational grazing beef suckler herds

If you already know your rotations from your residuals and your cover from your wedge, then you probably need to read no further. This guide is for beef suckler farmers…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

7 top tips for managing tracks and water when grazing stock

Outwintering stock or even just getting them out as early as possible in the spring can have huge benefits, particularly in terms of cost saving. However, if careful attention isn’t…

Insights

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GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

Applying natural hormone to grass could lift yields 1.2t DM/ha

Applying a natural hormone to grass after fertiliser could help farmers boost yields by up to 1.2t DM/ha, trials have shown. Pearce Seeds and chemical company Nufarm carried out trials…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Cattle bounce back after poor fodder beet growth rates

A project at Harper Adams is investigating if it is feasible to finish dairy-bred beef calves on forage alone.  The project, led by Adas and funded by AHDB Beef &…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

How Finnish farmers have doubled grass growth

The short, five-month grass growing season that Finnish farmers face will strike a chord with many UK counterparts following one of the toughest spring growing seasons on record. Yet progressive…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

How livestock producers in NI are making better use of grass

A collaboration between researchers, farmers and industry in Northern Ireland is helping livestock producers make better use of grass. Established in 1999, the GrassCheck project is operated by Northern Ireland’s…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

Promising weight gains made from grass in dairy beef study

Last October, work to investigate the feasibility of a low-cost dairy beef production system was launched at Harper Adams University with the aim of maximising output from forage and minimising…

DAIRY

4 messages for the dairy industry

More than 15,000 farmers attended the biannual Teagasc Moorepark Research Open day in Fermoy, County Cork, on 4 July to learn about the latest research being conducted at the centre. …

FEED AND NUTRITION

Benefits of switching to a multi-cut silage system

Many dairy farmers are now looking to lift milk solids production as they move to manufacturing contracts. In a new four-part series, Farmers Weekly will be examining how fat and…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

First-cut grass silage - when is best for top quality?

There seems to be an unwritten rule that first cut grass silage is taken around 15 May  when 50% of the sward is at the point of ear emergence.  This…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

Why farmers will pay heavily for not reseeding grassland

The lack of pasture rejuvenation of UK farms could mean farmers will pay a hefty price as they look to increase production from home-grown forage. The amount of temporary grass,…

LIVESTOCK

How reducing maize seed rates could save money

Cutting maize seed rates by 5-10% has the potential to lift starch levels by 2-3% and bring harvest date forward by three to five days, according to John Burgess, maize…

DAIRY

How to increase grazed grass without incurring extra costs

As we approach turnout and grazing opportunities for more profit, it is essential we all understand why there is so much value and profit in planning and using grazed grass. News…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

Clover yields extra milk worth £630/ha, study shows

Feeding spring-calving cows grass clover can increase milk solids by 58kg a cow throughout the lactation, resulting in an additional €232 a cow (£200), a three-year Teasgasc study has found.…

Video

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LIVESTOCK

Grassland and Muck 2014 video: Revolutionary grass monitor on de...

A revolutionary grass monitor that can be mounted on a wellie boot and automatically measures grass height via ultrasound sensors is set to make measuring grass easier. The Grassometer from…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

Video: How near-infra red technology measures grass quality

Near infra-red spectroscopy (NIRS) technology is helping grassland farmers produce better quality silage by pinpointing when grass is at the optimum nutritional value for harvesting. At Grassland & Muck 2017, Limagrain demonstrated…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

Buyers guide to grass-measuring equipment

There is a range of grass-measuring equipment and software on the market, which means choosing the right one can be a minefield. Farmers Weekly looked at a range of measuring…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

How to ‘home-test’ grass to know when to cut for silage

With late application of fertiliser and slurry to crops this spring, it has never been more important to test grass before cutting for silage. Excess nitrogen is a risk in…