Grassland scheme launched
Farmers in Scotland are being sought to take part in GrassCheckGB, a pilot programme set to help farmers improve their grassland management.
A recent study carried out by the AgriFood and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) highlighted the importance of improving grassland management efficiency as a key driver of profitability on beef and sheep farms across the UK.
The research showed that improving pasture utilisation by one tonne per hectare is worth an additional profit of £204 per hectare per year to a beef farm.
GrassCheckGB aims to improve grassland productivity and pasture utilisation on beef and sheep farms through a new grassland performance monitoring network.
This will collate data from across GB to enable better predictions of grass growth using weather data combined with grass growth and quality data from a wide range of beef and sheep farms
Dr Heather McCalman, Quality Meat Scotland knowledge transfer specialist, said: “This is a great opportunity for farmers to get involved in a new GB-wide initiative which could make a real difference to managing grass supply to meet livestock demand in the future.”
Dr McCalman said the feedback received by pilot farmers involved will help inform their grazing management decisions and improve efficiency to benefit their bottom lines. The outputs of the project will not only help those farmers directly involved to improve their grassland management, she said, it will also help hundreds of other farmers around the country.
She added: “The launch is taking place as the extent of the problems associated with the prolonged period of dry weather become increasingly apparent. The lessons learned during this project should help to mitigate the impact of extreme weather in the future.”
Applications to participate in GrassCheckGB are now being sought. Application forms and information packs can be downloaded from www.CIELivestock. co.uk For general queries contact CIEL, telephone 01904 567716 or email enquiries@ cielivestock.co.uk.