Free graz­ing ad­vice from ex­pert Rohloff

The Galloway News - - [email protected] VIEW -

Soil As­so­ci­a­tion Scotland is invit­ing farm­ers to a free, prac­ti­cal event dis­cussing pad­dock graz­ing with New Zealand farmer and ex­pert Mur­ray Rohloff.

The day will look at how to make pad­dock graz­ing work on the farm, op­ti­mis­ing sheep and cat­tle per­for­mance from pas­ture and the financial ben­e­fits to be gained from im­prov­ing soil health and grass.

Mur­ray ( pic­tured) said: “Pas­ture is the diesel of pas­toral farm­ing — pro­duc­ing the cheap­est feed and giv­ing the big­gest bang for the buck. How­ever, most farm­ers need up-skilling in man­ag­ing pas­ture to ex­tract the huge profit po­ten­tial by man­ag­ing di­gestibil­ity and planned pas­ture cov­ers.”

James Big­gar of Chapel­ton Farm near Cas­tle Dou­glas had been think­ing about pad­dock graz­ing for a while but had been daunted by the change. He’s been pleased with the results so far.

He said: “Last year, we started sub­di­vid­ing some ex­ist­ing fields into smaller pad­docks to al­low us to move stock around. This year we’ve split up a cou­ple more fields and we’ve started a true ro­ta­tion for the first time.

“We’ve always been a for­age­based business, but we see huge po­ten­tial to in­crease our stock­ing num­bers by driv­ing that for­age el­e­ment.

“The cat­tle and sheep we have on ro­ta­tion seem to be very con­tent. They always have plenty of good qual­ity grass in front of them and I can see an im­prove­ment in the sward al­ready as a re­sult of the ro­ta­tional graz­ing. It’s also very quick and easy to check stock in one small pad­dock.” Pad­dock graz­ing for profit will take place from 10.30am to 4pm at the Selkirk Arms in Kirkcud­bright on Fri­day, June 28. The event, which is free to farm­ers and land man­agers, in­cludes lunch. Book­ing is re­quired and places can be re­served at www. soilas­so­ci­a­tion. org, by calling Lyn on 07899 791 748 or by e-mail­ing [email protected] soilas­so­ci­a­tion. org.

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