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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GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

How a sheep farmer increased grass stocking rates sixfold

Sussex sheep farmer Jeremy West has increased stocking rates sixfold by using temporary grass leys. Since coming out of Higher level Stewardship (HSL) last year, he is integrating temporary grass…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

Why National Trust dairy tenant moved to 'holistic' farming

Farming to improve soil health, maximise production from grass and be self-sufficient is the aim of dairy farmer Richard Park of Low Sizergh Farm in Kendal, Cumbria. His ambition is…

BEEF

How Wagyu beef scheme gives farmers stability

Growing demand for Wagyu beef has resulted in the formation of a unique business model, which sees dairy farmers, rearers and finishers paid a guaranteed price for breeding and finishing…

FEED AND NUTRITION

How non-chemical weed control helps self-sufficiency in feed

Oxfordshire farmer Miles Saunders is using allelopathic weed control to suppress weeds on his organic dairy farm. The principle of allelopathy is certain plants release molecules (called allelochemicals) which affect…

DAIRY

How a new entrant has set up his own dairy from scratch

After 17 years of grit and determination, at the age of 30, Nick Cavill has achieved his ultimate goal of running his own dairy. In March, 120 cross-bred heifers calved-in…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

How an Irish dairy farmer is achieving 29% return on capital

Using more than 12t DM/ha of grass in a simple system that only requires 1.25 labour units is helping spring-block calver David Kerr see a 29% return on capital. Critical…

Practical advice

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GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

Why it is important to invest in grassland in a drought

The dry conditions farmers have experienced this summer bring into focus the value of the grass grown on farm for both grazing and silage. All dairy systems are dependent on…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Advice for managing forage supplies in a drought

Farmers are heading for a prolonged drought and forage supplies are drying up. The most important objective in a prolonged summer drought after a long winter is to secure additional…

FEED AND NUTRITION

How to deal with mineral deficiency when rain follows drought

Drought-like conditions in the summer cause numerous issues for livestock farmers, not least the concern of potential forage shortages later in the year. Producers also need to be aware of…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Sheep health and nutrition tips in a heatwave

So far, the hot, dry summer, especially after a tough spring, is making it difficult for sheep producers to get lambs fit and off farm while keeping ewes in good…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

How to act on drought and tightening forage stocks

Prolonged hot and dry weather has put pressure on forage stocks, with grass growth plummeting in most areas of the country. Figures from AgriNet up to 4 July show grass…

Insights

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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.…

How to get stocking rates and nutrition right

Recent research in Ireland has concluded that stocking rate has a minimal impact on fertility rate if nutrition is managed correctly. This, in hand with careful selection, means that increased…

Video

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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…

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…