Poppy Frater, Sheep and Grassland Specialist from SAC Consulting headed up the discussion on grassland management, focussing on three key areas which were prioritised in the following order;
- Soil health
- Grazing management
Looking at soil health first, Poppy showed the group how varying levels of soil structure could affect the grass growth and reduce productivity of the sward. She showed the importance of getting the soil pH right, allowing the grass to utilise the key nutrients within in the soil and looking after biology i.e. worms and bugs help to naturally aerate and create better soil structure.
Practical case studies and examples were used to demonstrate the benefits of good grazing management. Poppy gave a “how to” quick answer to getting started with rotational grazing and then went on to give a more detailed outlook on the facts and figures which were stacked up in favour of this grazing management option.
Finally, reseeding and the main point made within this topic was that the success of your reseed depends on getting the first two key areas correct. Different strategies for incorporating new grass species were focussed on in order to get the most out of the new sward and preserve the soil environment.
Throughout her presentation, Poppy teamed practical exercises with theory in order to give a true understanding of how the group could implement some of the strategies discussed to their own situations.
Key Take Home Messages;
- Grass is only a cheap feed if managed correctly;
- Getting your priorities in the right order is key;
- Rotational grazing can be a useful management tool to help make the most of your grassland grazing;
- Grassland Yield, Quality & Utilisation, Poppy Frater
- A copy of the presentation Poppy Frater gave on grassland management.
- Better Soil and Grassland Management
- Soil is the raw material from which most food is produced, and is a precious natural resource. Soil conditions on beef and sheep farms directly influence how well grass and forage crops grow, and the quality of feed they produce. As soil plays such an integral part in farming, it is important to assess and monitor its chemical and physical properties.
- TN643 – Weed Management in Grassland
- This technical note describes the most important weeds of grassland and their management. It is designed to be of value to low and high conventional input grassland systems, as well as potentially to organic systems.
- Topics: Crops and Soils
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