How to…

In this section you can find step-by-step information on how to carry out timely tasks associated with grassland management.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

DO IT NOW Assess soil structure

Understanding soils is fundamental to profitable grassland farming. It is often thought that soils under grass are in good health however, a recent Defra-funded survey of 300 grassland fields indicated that only 40% of fields had good soil structure. Soil compaction, occurs when soil particles are compressed which reduces the spaces (pores) between them. These…

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Nutrient planning

Nutrient planning is integral to optimising forage production. P&K A tonne (freshweight) of 30 per cent dry matter silage contains 2.1kg of phosphate (P) and 7.2kg of potash (K). This can be used to calculate off-takes and what nutrients need to be returned to land that has been cut for silage. It also shows how…

Thursday, 16 July 2015

How to deal with hot weather

Most of the country has recently been experiencing dry and warm conditions, which can have an impact on production, through effects on fertility and growth rates which in turn can lead to welfare issues. Cattle During periods of warm and dry weather, producers with suckler cows should consider creep feeding spring-born calves to reduce their…

Thursday, 16 July 2015

DO IT NOW – Think about red clover

Red clover has a good reputation among organic producers and it is now becoming a mainstream crop for conventional farmers. Like white clover, bacteria in the nodules on red clover roots convert nitrogen (N) from the air into nitrates. These stored nitrates are released to the surrounding plants or subsequent crops and act as a…

Monday, 15 June 2015

How to make better conserved forage

Making hay: best practice Hay is made from fresh grass, with a dry matter of around 20 per cent, by a drying process that takes it to a dry matter of 80 per cent or higher, so it can be stored and kept effectively. Hay may be regarded as a second class citizen to silage,…