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

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…

SHEEP

How farmers are benefiting from contract rearing ewe lambs

Outsourcing the breeding and lambing of 500 ewe lambs is allowing a large-scale sheep enterprise to maximise stocking rates and grass availability on its own farm. Ewe lambs from Thistleyhaugh…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

Why Timothy can help improve grass growth on marginal ground

A Welsh hill farm is experimenting with incorporating Timothy in grass seed mixes at inclusion rates of up to 40% to try to improve the persistency and quality of grazing…

LIVESTOCK

How a tenant farm manages 3,200ha of Wiltshire grassland

An organic ranch-style farming system is allowing a Wiltshire business to run 490 cows with just two labour units and create a rare and highly valued habitat in the process.…

LIVESTOCK

Durham farm saves costs with grassland focus and weighing

Measuring and recording grass growth and weighing livestock more frequently has opened up cost-saving opportunities on an upland grazing farm. David and Joyce Monkhouse of Low Houselop Farm, Tow Law,…

Practical advice

See all

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…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

How to set your grazing up for next spring

Planning is vital to ensure good grass covers and an early turnout next spring. Every day spent spring grazing is worth twice as much profit as a day in the…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Q&A: Growing and feeding drought-tolerant lucerne

Lucerne is a deep-rooted, nitrogen-fixing crop that has seen a surge in interest among livestock farmers looking for a drought-tolerant fodder option. Sam Lane, technical manager at Cotswold Seeds, and…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

Expert tips to control soft rush in grassland

It is estimated that about 10% of the UK’s 5.18m hectares of rough grazing is in-bye pasture that is at risk from soft rush. A dense and unpalatable plant, it…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

How to improve crude protein levels in silage

Grass yields may be rising but crude protein levels in silage are still relatively low across most of the UK. Environmental regulations, lower fertiliser use and selection of unsuitable varieties…

Insights

See all

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,…

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…

Video

See all

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

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

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

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…