Improving grass utilisation at Angus Monitor Farm

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

At the upcoming Angus Monitor Farm meeting on 27 June the focus will be on all things grass, exploring the rotational grazing set up and the challenges and benefits of implementing this system.

Project facilitator David Ross from SAC Consulting will open the meeting outlining the costs of setting up and managing the rotational grazing system at the Mill.

Perthshire farmer John Ritchie will then share his experience of rotational grazing, which he has been developing over several years. John will discuss paddock grazing infrastructure, the challenges getting started with rotational grazing, day-to-day management of grass, and his own personal journey.

John is also part of the GrassCheck GB project which aims to assist farmers in improving both grass growth and utilisation by providing information on grass growth, grass quality and weather conditions from 50 locations across Britain including 9 beef and sheep farmers in Scotland.

Angus monitor farmer Rob Stodart says: “We have been, and will continue to monitor grass growth using the plate meter and this data will be displayed and compared with GrassCheckGB at the event’’.

“Grass utilisation is really important to us as we nearly ran out of silage last year and so we are increasing production this year. Additionally, we have taken in less seasonal grass lets so we need to ensure we manage our grass as efficiently as possible to continue to maintain this level of stock.”

The final part of the day will be devoted to a farm tour looking at the system set up for sheep and cattle grazing at the Mill. The group will also look at the cost benefit analysis of rotational grazing. The system has taken more time to set up than set stocking, and more fencing is required, however fertiliser rates have been reduced and stocking has been intensified.

The meeting will be held Mill of Inverarity Farm, and will start at 1pm, ending at 3.30pm. The event is free to attend but to lunch will be provided so to assist with catering attendees should book a place by phoning SAC Consulting’s Stonehaven office (01569 762305) or emailing zach.reilly@sac.co.uk.

Mill of Inverarity is part of the Monitor Farm Scotland initiative, managed by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds with funding from the Scottish Government. The aim of the monitor farm programme is to help improve the productivity, profitability and sustainability of Scottish farm businesses.

For more information about the monitor farm programme visit www.monitorfarms.co.uk.