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.

Case studies

See all

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

How hill farmers keep production costs to £43 a ewe

Penny Chantler and her sons, William and Sam Sawday, are improving profitability at the 188ha Hill Farm, Llanigon, Hay-on-Wye, by keeping production costs in their sheep enterprise low at just…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

Farm wins lucrative meat market with eco-friendly system

Peter and Henri Greig are champions of regenerative farming on their small-scale family farm and credit it with creating low input, sustainable farming that has opened the door to direct…

FEED AND NUTRITION

How Welsh dairy farm cut concentrate costs by 3.1p/litre

Taking more frequent cuts at shorter intervals has improved silage quality at a Welsh dairy farm, lifting margin over purchased feed by 11%, or £350/ha. Father and son Hugo and…

SHEEP

How upland Easycare flock is rearing 170%

An upland flock has increased productivity by lifting scanning rates from 150% to 180% and used Beltex terminal sires to produce fast-growing lambs within supermarket specification. A raft of changes…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Why farmer is using orange peel to seal his silage clamp

Innovative farmer Henry Tyrrell has used 60t of orange peel as a novel way of covering his silage clamp while reducing plastic and providing fibre for his cows. The 24-year-old,…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

How organic farmers plan to become more efficient

Edryd and Glenda Davies are making more from marginal mountain ground by mob and rotational grazing to improve grassland so they can operate a low-cost forage-based system and finish lambs…

Practical advice

See all

FEED AND NUTRITION

5 steps to managing your flock's forage at winter

Sheep producers should have a strategy in place to maximise forage over winter, especially following a trend for high energy (>11MJ ME/kg DM) silages. This is the advice of SAC…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

4 sheep grazing tips to maximise strong autumn grass growth

Sheep farmers could look to control costs and extend the 2019 grazing season by maximising strong autumn grass covers. This is the advice of independent beef, sheep and forage consultant…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

Advice for dealing with fluke as high rainfall increases risk

High levels of rainfall have put livestock in Scotland, western England and northern parts of Wales at high risk of fluke. Producers in the South West should also be on…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

Advice on establishing and growing clover in grass leys

High in protein and nitrogen fixing, clover is a great benefit on farm, but it can be a difficult species to manage. With autumn fast approaching, it may be time…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Eliminating winter housing for cattle: options compared

An end to direct farm subsidies in some UK regions post Brexit has focused farmers’ minds on cutting winter housing costs. It costs between £1.20-£1.50 a head a day to…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

Should you switch to autumn weed control for grassland?

Late summer weed control is real opportunity that’s being missed by many grassland farmers. A farm survey of 200 grassland farmers carried out by NuFarm in July and August found…

Insights

See all

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

How to profit from forage-based dairy-beef system

Forage-based dairy-beef systems are profitable even in extreme weather conditions, a two-year study at Harper Adams University has concluded. The project investigated whether it was feasible to finish dairy-bred beef…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

Video: How satellites could revolutionise grass measuring

A number of farms in Wales are turning to a new pioneering satellite technology system, in an effort to get further data on their pasture measurements. In addition to the…

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,…

Video

See all

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

Video: Should you do a full reseed or renovate pasture?

In most cases, if a sward is past its best, there is no substitute for ploughing. However, overseeding can also be beneficial. In the video below, Germinal’s Daniel Loe sets…

BEEF

Video: Return of native beef breed benefits Welsh farm

Livestock farmer Richard Lewis swapped his Limousin cattle for native Welsh Blacks and has seen the farm flourish. He invested in 45 head of the cattle, which was quite an…

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

Cell grazing improves liveweight production from grass

Cornish young farmer and engineer James Daniel believes UK farmers can grow more grass than their New Zealand counterparts by harnessing rotational grazing strategies. Following a six-month stint working in…