Grass Value

Cymraeg Welsh

Grass Value

Producing and managing grass efficiently can give Welsh dairy farmers a major competitive advantage over farmers from other areas of the UK that have less suitable climates to grow grass.

The three year Grass Value module aims to educate dairy farmers across Wales of the advantages of best practice in grass utilisation to produce milk efficiently.

To demonstrate this, twelve dairy farms from across Wales have been recruited to participate in an intensive recording program. By collecting information from dairy farms that are utilising grass well, the module aims to demonstrate the results and skills needed to harvest the advantage that we have here in Wales.

All the farms involved are committed to efficient utilisation of grass under different management techniques and hope to improve their own performance by learning from each other. Technicians visit each of the farms weekly to measure grass growth and collect performance records. The information will then be made available to the farmers via a web based recording package, allowing them to make management decisions and compare their performance with the other eleven farms.

The weekly grass measurements are used to determine grass production and utilisation. This will be undertaken by two technicians based in North and South Wales in order to guarantee consistency. Other information gathered include weekly rainfall, soil temperatures, supplementary imputes, fertilizer applied and milk produced. Further detailed information regarding the financial performances of the farms will be analysed on a monthly basis.

All the farms were soil sampled at the beginning of the module and will be sampled again at the end of the three year module in order to gather the full nutrient status of the farms. Sward analysis will be used to determine the average percentage of sown grass species in the pastures.

We will also look at herd health performance, cow body condition scoring and locomotion scoring to measure herd performance.

All the farms will benefit from using DairyCo's independent benchmarking system, Milkbench+, which is available to all dairy farmers in GB.

Analysis on all the information collected over the three years will be used to demonstrate the results of effective utilisation of grass

Articles updating Welsh farmers on the information gathered through this module are regularly included in Godro and the weekly readings taken from the twelve farms are available on the Dairy Development Centre website.

For more information please contact John Owen on 01544 748570 or by email

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