EBLEX Grazing Meeting

EBLEX Grazing Meeting

Monday, May 17, 2010

EBLEX - Grazing Meeting

By Lois Macdonald, BGS.

Do you carry out soil tests on your farm?  Are any of your fields underperforming?  Are you using a lot of muck and slurry?

These were some of the questions that Liz Genever, EBLEX asked farmers last week to try and get an idea of how many people actually take those all important measures to understand and be in a position to improve their pastures.  Out of 55 people, only a handful admitted to soil testing on a regular basis.

But it's vital to know where all the nutrients from muck and slurry applications should be going, explains Liz.  If not it could be literally going down the drain.

There were also few attendees who were measuring grass.  Yet, knowing sward heights can help plan turnout dates and stocking rates.  Measuring grass can be done with a ruler, electronic plate meter (measuring kg of dry matter per hectare) and even your finger or welly, says Liz.  "Around May-June time you should be looking for a sward height of 6-8cm for optimum grazing".

Other topics covered on the day included:

  • The perfect pH and what you can do to achieve this for your land type
  • How the balance of P, K and Mg affects your grass growth
  • Soil fertility - work with your conditions not against them
  • Target compaction with the correct kit - guessing can be an expensive mistake
  • Selecting the right varieties of grass and the correct clover mix

EBLEX offer information on all these topics through their Better Returns Programme.  This meeting was held at Warwickshire College who are taking part in EBLEX's GrassWatch scheme, a nationwide grassland monitoring project.  See www.eblex.org.uk for more events and further information.

Members

BGS Members BGS is a membership organisation which acts as a communication forum, through events and publications, for the profitable and sustainable use of grass and forage.

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