With 2018 proving a particularly challenging year in terms of grass growth, a series of webinars from Scotland’s Rural College has been created to help farmers get the most from their pastures.
Beginning on 5 September, the free online series will allow pasture-based farmers to ask questions and interact with SRUC experts.
The webinars, which will run from 7pm-8pm, are as follows:
• Wednesday 5 September. Drawing on results from SRUC trials, Dr David Lawson will focus on the principles of what affects grass growth. He will illustrate the value of SRUC variety trial work and look at how much can be gained by introducing the latest varieties.
• Wednesday 26 September. This will cover how to balance farm productivity with the needs of the environment. Dr John Holland will cover trials undertaken at SRUC’s Hill and Mountain Research Centre at Kirkton and Auchtertyre Farms near Crianlarich. The trials show how stocking rate influences grass yield, the effects of management on biodiversity and how no till compares with the full plough method for reseeding.
• Wednesday 17 October. Dr Bill Crooks will discuss soil health and organic matter and explain how some of the newer organic by-products might work in practise.
Poppy Frater said: “It’s been a tough year in terms of grass growth. We had a very slow start due to cold weather and then the dry summer has limited production through the year. Grass is complex with its growth limited by numerous factors. Day length, water, nitrogen, soil temperature and leaf surface area are the dominant limitations.
“Farmers have been asking a lot of different questions as they hope to better understand grass growth. SRUC grassland research and expertise is extensive. This webinar series will provide an overview of current grass, grazing and soil knowledge as well as an insight into projects the experts are working on to answer the unanswered questions in science.”
The webinar series is funded by the Scottish Funding Council through the University Innovation Fund.
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