Planning ahead for maximum spring grazing
Livestock farmers in the region are invited to attend a free“Get Set for Spring:Winter Grazing Strategies” meeting being organised by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) in Kirkcudbright as part of its Better Grazing programme
The meeting, which is being held atThe Selkirk Arms onTuesday, September 25, is expected to attract a large turnout of farmers, particularly after a very challenging 2018 grazing season and shortage of forage supplies.
The main aim for the event, according to Emily Grant, KnowledgeTransfer Specialist at QMS, is to ensure attendees leave the meeting confident about being able to plan for maximum spring pasture growth and make the best grazing management decisions through the winter to achieve this.
“By planning ahead, there are a couple of options that farmers can use to extend the grazing season,” said Mrs Grant.
“Many farmers have also been sowing forage crops to help fill the gap. Planning now and being prepared for winter could help make the best use of the pasture and forage stocks you have.
“Winter is always a challenge for cattle and sheep producers as animal demand is always greater than grass growth rates and the weather can lead to challenging ground conditions. But, decisions made about autumn and winter grazing management can have a significant impact on early spring grass availability and could help to keep feed costs low.”
Anyone keen to make more from their grazing is welcome to attend the meeting. Key areas to be covered will include guidance on working out stock requirements, measuring grass and forage crop dry matter, target grazing guidelines, and some tactics for dealing with adverse weather conditions.
Rhidian Jones, of RJ Livestock Systems Ltd, is a sheep, beef and grassland specialist and will be the key speaker at the meeting.
The free meeting will begin at 10:30am and finish at 3.30pm and lunch will be supplied. During the morning session, Mr Jones will guide delegates through the key principles of winter grazing management, budgeting and planning. Following lunch there will be a visit to nearby East Kirkcarswell farm, run by Stuart Annand, to look at his forage crop and some of the practicalities of managing grazing as effectively as possible over the winter.
You can reserve your place on the Eventbrite booking website (search for QMS Better Grazing) or by contacting QMS direct on 0131 510 7920 or [email protected] qmscotland.co.uk.