Experts tackle grass and muck issues

A series of topical forums tackling a wide range of forage and muck issues to help producers secure better livestock margins should prove a popular draw at Grassland & Muck 2011.

Taking place on 18-19 May at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, the programme also includes a headline debate on the first day
to consider what the next decade holds for UK livestock production. The event is sponsored by livestock feeding systems specialist Keenan.

The six forums will run on both days, featuring a range of expert speakers providing concise, up-to-the-minute advice across a range of livestock production issues. The forums will discuss topics such as:

* The importance of measuring grazing

* The economics and practicalities of contracting out

* Buffer feeds at grazing

* How forage harvester technology can maximise silage quality

* Reseeding – when, what with and how to manage new leys

* Making more of muck

The speakers

Headline debate chair

Cedric Porter (Agricultural supply chain consultant)

Cedric Porter is an agricultural supply chain consultant helping retailers, processors and retailers develop stronger and more successful relationships.

Headline debate speakers

Richard King (Partner and head of business research, Andersons)

Richard King joined Andersons Research team in 1998, analysing and interpreting agricultural policy and market developments, providing specialist business research, training, briefings and information.

Richard was elected a Fellow of the Association of Agricultural Valuers, started editing the Agricultural Budgeting and Costings Book, became a Partner in the Andersons Centre and is now chairman of the Agricultural Valuers Grants and Regulation Committee.

Mike Powley (Farmer and EBLEX board member)

Mike Powley farms in partnership with his parents on an 110ha beef and arable unit. The 130-cow spring calving herd of high EBV South Devon x Limousin “Red Cows” are served to British Blue sires to produce heavy high-quality carcasses for ABP. The farm is ASDA’s Beef Training and Educational Farm and works closely with ABP, Askham Bryan College and all of the farm’s suppliers.

Dr Jonathan Scurlock (NFU)

Dr Jonathan Scurlock is chief adviser, Renewable Energy and Climate Change for the National Farmers’ Union. As a senior adviser with the NFU since 2007, he leads a small team, providing analysis and advice to the NFU’s senior management, office holders and members.

Dick Sibley (Veterinary surgeon and sole principal, West Ridge Veterinary Practice Ltd)

Dick Sibley is a veterinary surgeon and sole principal of West Ridge Veterinary Practice. The practice has 13 vets and 20 support staff, providing veterinary services to livestock farmers in mid Devon. Dick is also partner in which provides a link between vets and farmers, now serving over 10 veterinary practices and 3,000 cattle herds throughout
the country.

Forum speakers

Dr John Allen (Frank Wright Trouw Nutrition International)

Dr John Allen is the technical director of Frank Wright Trouw Nutrition International, the leading premix and mineral manufacturer and largest forage analysis facility in the UK.

Prof Brian Chambers (ADAS)

Professor Brian Chambers is Head of Soils & Nutrients in ADAS, a past president of the Institute of Professional Soil Scientists, a Chartered Scientist and a visiting Professor at Cranfield University.

Charlie Baker (RC Baker Agricultural Contractors)

Over 30 years, Charlie BakerÕs family-run contracting business, based in Oxfordshire, has built up a loyal 200-strong customer base and now cuts more than 2,000ha of grass and maize silage and runs 1,200ha of stubble-to-stubble arable, as well as offering a portfolio of environmental services.

Chris Duller (DairyCo)

Chris Duller, Extension Officer for DairyCo covering south Wales, has a strong technical background in soils, forage and grassland management. Previously Chris worked for IGER where he spent five years in grassland research and 10 years as part of their extension team.

Bruce Forshaw (Keenan)

Bruce Forshaw joined the Keenan Nutrition Team in 2008, delivering the Keenan system on farms and supporting and training customers with PACE Technology. Previously Bruce worked for Genus ABS where he was instrumental in rolling out the RMS service in Somerset.

Chris Wiltshire (John Deere)

Chris Wiltshire joined John Deere in 2000 and has held a variety of positions with the company in the UK and in
Germany. Chris is responsible for sales and marketing of all green crop product, including mower conditioners, balers and self-propelled forage harvesters.

Forum timetable

10:30am: If you don’t measure it,you can’t manage it

Measuring grazing; a simple and effective farm tool for calculating potential milk production and its importance for performance. Dr John Allen, Frank Wright Trouw Nutrition International

11:00am: Contract out or DIY, what’s best for your business?

Economics, practical considerations and added value from contracting Ð what and when to contract out. Charlie Baker, RC Baker Agricultural Contractors (2009 Contractor of the Year)

11:30am:Maximising rumen health at grazing

The correct presentation of buffer feeds to improve rumen health, production, feed efficiency and margins. Bruce Forshaw, Keenan

12:00pm: Future proofing UK livestock production

Headline debate (Weds only): Where will our industry be in 10 years time and what will be the greatest challenges for the UK livestock farmer? Mike Powley, Farmer and EBLEX board member; Richard King, Andersons; Dick Sibley, West Ridge Veterinary Practice; Jonathan Scurlock, NFU; Mark Tucker, Yara UK

1:00pm: New technologies help maximise silage quality

Benefiting from developments in forage harvester technology; systems to improve silage quality, feed values, machine performance and fuel efficiency. John Deere , Chris Wiltshire

1:30pm: Reseeding – getting it right and boosting production

When to re-seed, choice of variety, management of new leys and financial returns from a reseeded ley. Chris Duller, DairyCo

2:00pm: Making the most of muck

Understanding the value of manures, calculating application rates and the benefits of different application methods. Prof Brian Chambers, ADAS UK


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