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

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FEED AND NUTRITION

5 ways a Cheshire dairy has reduced ration costs

Cheshire-based dairy farmers Tom and Karen Halton have reduced ration costs by 0.5p/litre in their 530-cow herd and lifted milk from forage by 500 litres to 3,000 litres a head.…

FEED AND NUTRITION

How Welsh beef farm is in top third for low carbon emissions

A Welsh beef farm is achieving carbon emissions that are 17% lower than average. Paul and Dwynwen Williams run a herd of 60 suckler cows and intensively finish 120 dairy-bred…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Fodder beet proves cost-effective for spring-calving herd

Nick and Liz Haines have been firm believers in growing fodder beet to feed dry cows over the winter. The couple, who have recently come to the end of their…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

Zero grazing helps dairy goat farmer to reduce concentrates

Zero grazing has allowed Irish dairy farmers Haske Knippels and Marion Roeleveld to increase milk production by 100 litres/day while reducing bought-in feed costs. Together, they milk 200 British Saanen…

BEEF

3 ways a beef farmer is adapting to improve profitability

Spring-calving suckler and arable farmer Mike Powley is adapting his business to improve labour efficiency and environmental sustainability. Mr Powley, who farms with his father, is making changes to ensure…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

How herbal leys are benefiting an upland lamb finisher

Introducing herbal leys for finishing lambs has helped one Welsh upland farm improve weight gains while reducing nitrogen and wormer. Lambs from the 480-ewe Welsh Improved flock at Esgairllaethdy, a…

Practical advice

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FEED AND NUTRITION

6 tips to avoid mycotoxins in silage ahead of harvest

The presence of mycotoxins in silage can cause huge repercussions for livestock producers, with issues ranging from reduced feed intake to abortion often a result of a mycotoxicosis infection. However,…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

How multi-cut can deliver profits of £333/ha

Cutting grass more frequently can deliver better-quality forage capable of delivering £333/ha profit above a traditional three-cut silage-making system. Dairy nutritionists Volac compared a five-cut system to a three-cut system…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

Advice on establishing and grazing herbal leys

A herbal ley is a diverse sward that includes different grasses and species, with varying rooting depths, properties and drought tolerances. They have a positive effect on soil health, structure…

BEEF

Canadian learnings: 4 ways UK sucklers could improve profits

Beef production is a major enterprise in Canada, with more than 90,000 producers in the country. However, with harsh winters and hot summers ⁠— as well as the increasing population…

FEED AND NUTRITION

How can farmers improve feed security amid climate change?

Climate change means UK farmers are experiencing more extreme weather conditions which can make growing crops far harder. What lessons can be learned from other countries to help improve feed…

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…

Insights

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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,…

AHDB rotational grazing challenges

Dealing with poor soil and high rainfall in rotational grazing.

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Video

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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…

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…

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…

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…