BRITISH GRASSLAND SOCIETY

Bringing together those with an interest in grass and forage production and utilisation

Summer Meeting 2023

Summer Meeting 2023 – North Wales

The BGS Summer Meeting 2023 will take place from Monday 26 June to Wednesday 28 June 2023. 

The base for the meeting will be The Management Centre at Bangor University. For those travelling to the event, accommodation will also be available on Sunday 25 June as we will be setting off to our first farm at 8.00 am on Monday. The event will finish at 4.30 pm on Wednesday.

Full details will follow in the new year, and booking will open in the spring, but the following gives a brief outline of the farms and institutions we will be visiting.

Day 1 – Monday 26 June
Hafod y Llan – This 1000 hectare farm rises from the shores of Llyn Gwynant to the top of Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) and was purchased by the National Trust in 1998 following a public appeal. The farm runs a flock of 2000 sheep and a herd of 30 Welsh Black cows, and has a total of five hydro energy installations.  The farm is managed by Arwyn Owen, who will tell us about the farming system at Hafod y Llan.
Tyn y Bryn (Padog Farms) – The aim is for this farm to become regenerative with the dairy herd remaining outdoors all year and receiving no fertiliser, slurry or concentrate inputs. The herd is currently made up of 240 NZ cross cows with the aim of increasing this to 400 in the future. Nurse cows are used to rear the calves, with three calves per cow. Dewi Llion, the farm manager, will explain the plans for the future of the farm.

Day 2 – Tuesday 27 June
Tre Ifan – Richard Rogers won the BGS Grassland Farmer of the Year competition in 2018. He will welcome us to Tre Ifan to find out more about the spring-calving dairy herd. The cows are NZ crosses, with high levels of fertility and includes some cows going into their tenth lactation. Having a team of staff who are settled and committed is important at Tre Ifan, and emphasis has been placed on the individuals in the team and their development.
Castellior – The main focus on the 324 hectare farm of Wyn and Dylan Jones is the finishing of dairy bred cattle for beef, but sheep are also over-wintered on the farm. With up to 500 cattle on the farm at a given time, the main finishing diet is a TMR utilising home-grown barley and with red clover silage acting as the protein source. Cattle are finished around 28-30 months of age, spending an average of 150 days on the farm.
Coleg Glynllifon – Farm Manager Rhodri Owen will explain the proposed milking sheep enterprise to us. With 200 Lleyn ewes mated by laproscopic AI in the autumn and the aim of buying-in 100 Assaf ewes, the flock, when established, will be milked twice a day in a 24/48 De Laval parlour. 

Day 3 _ Wednesday 28 June
Moelogan Fawr – Llion and Sian Jones farm run a suckler herd and a breeding ewe flock at Moelogan. The cattle are grazed on a rotational paddock grazing system and cow tracks have been built in order to extend the grazing season. Ewes are grazed on swedes pre-lambing. The farm is part of GrassCheck GB
Henfaes Research Centre – This will be the final visit of the meeting. As well as being Bangor University’s research farm, Henfaes Research Centre is also where the University’s commercial flock of Welsh Mountain ewes are based. With land rising from sea level to amongst the highest mountains in Wales, Henfaes is a unique asset for teaching and research about agricultural systems, soils, land use, conservation, and more.  During the visit, delegates will be shown a range of experimental work focused on mixed species leys in sheep systems, reducing greenhouse gas emissions from livestock systems, the environmental and economic impacts of different grazing regimes, and enhancing soil carbon.