GrassWatch to reveal sward productivity

GrassWatch to reveal sward productivity

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

An initiative to help beef and sheep farmers get the most from their swards this year has been launched by EBLEX.

"The key to improving grassland productivity lies in monitoring its performance," said Liz Genever, EBLEX Livestock Scientist. "While there is no substitute for farmers assessing their own pastures, we hope that following grass growth in similar fields on our GrassWatch sites will help producers plan their future grazing and feeding needs."

GrassWatch is monitoring grass growth and quality at 10 college farms across England. Results will be posted fortnightly on the Farmers Weekly Interactive website, alongside regular commentary on grass growth from experts and producers on the GrassWatch blog, and links to useful publications and video clips.

 The colleges have chosen a mix of different sites for the project, ensuring that most farmers will find at least one which is relevant to their situation.

"We will also be able to assess the performance of fields with perfect soil test results - i.e. P and K indexes of 2 and pH of 6-6.5 - compared with fields needing extra inputs, demonstrating the value of investing in soil fertility," adds Liz.

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