Farmers invited to Getting Greener Grass event

Andre van Barneveld of Graise Consultancy
Andre van Barneveld of Graise Consultancy

Soil Association Scotland is inviting farmers to a free event with pasture expert Andre van Barneveld to find out how to prepare for the grazing season ahead.

Feed stocks may be low due to the extreme weather conditions last year, but are there any management options that could help maximise spring pasture production?

Andre van Barneveld of Graise Consultancy says that although there is no silver bullet, there are things you can do to make the most of your pasture.

“My approach revolves around rotational grazing,” he says.

“Grazing stimulates grass growth, but if you have all the stock on all the grass all of the time it doesn’t work – the grass needs time to recover.”

He says nitrogen fertiliser can be used in a minimal way to reduce costs as well as environmental impact.

“There’s no point putting it on before grazing as nitrogen can’t stimulate grass growth if there’s no growth there – you’d be wasting your money.”

And there is attention to be paid long term to soil health.

“Rotational grazing is better for soils in the long term because it improves root structure, which gives you better grass. It’s all linked in.

“It’s about truly understanding the value of grass. If you value it, and you manage it through the season it can have a real impact on profitability.”

Knowledge Transfer Specialist at QMS, Emily Grant, said: “Spring grass is hugely valuable to any livestock system, whether for lambing ewes, calving cows or growing youngstock. Making the most of it will help to not only keep feed and housing costs in check, but also set up high quality pastures for the rest of the grazing season.”

The event will be held on Tuesday, February 26 at Thainstone Agricultural Centre, Inverurie from 7–10pm.

It is free to farmers and land managers but booking is required.

To book visit www.soilassociation.org, call Lyn on 07899 791748 or email lwhite@soilassociation.org.

Come along and find how you can get more from your grazing season.