Improving grazing in Monmouthshire

Improving grazing in Monmouthshire

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Improve Grazing Management is the theme for two successive meetings of the Monmouthshire Grassland Society

At a meeting held at Alice Springs Golf Club on February 18th, Genus ABS grassland systems specialist, Justin Rees, gave members some sound advice on ways in which they could get more out of grazed grass. 

Always a controversial speaker, Justin did not pull any punches when he produced figures indicating that over the past 10 years, in spite of the advances made by the best grassland farmers, there has been a shocking 38 % decrease in efficiency of use of grazed grass by the average livestock farmer.

Justin, who before joining Genus, worked for the Livestock Improvement Company, spent a year (2002-2003) farming in New Zealand, and his presentation featured the pastures and herds  he was managing' down under'  The audience on the night were reluctant to accept that extended grazing was an option in their part of wet Wales, but they could not dispute the fact that regardless of the length of the grazing season, there is much room for improvement by way of maximising the use of what is, by far, the cheapest form of dry matter available to our grazing livestock.

Justin reminded members that if they paid as much attention to accurate measurement of grazed grass as they did to their winter feed; there was much scope for reduced costs whilst maintaining performance.

A fitting follow up to this meeting is scheduled for March 18th, again at Alice Springs Golf Club nr Usk, when  Rick Swait, grass seed Specialist for Limagrain will give a presentation on MATR IX  Enhanced Ryegrass Grazing Mixtures. (See p5 of Spring 2010 Grass and Forage Farmer) The meeting is sponsored by Gwyn Cadogan, Seeds and Fertilisers, in conjunction with Limagrain

Monmouthshire Grassland Society will welcome members from other societies at this meeting - if you would like to attend, please let Mon GS secretary Sarah Byford know as refreshments will be provided  and an idea of numbers would be appropriate.  E mail usksarah@tiscali.co.uk   Tel 01291673528

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