Making the most of land

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Livestock farmers who feel their grassland is still suffering from the weather of the past 112 months have been advised to consider re-seeding, with options on sowing brassicas, such as stubble turnips or hybrid rape.

By doing so, grassland expert Charlie Morgan claimed farmers could extend their grazing and take livestock through the winter if they don not currently have enough silage.

Speaking at an event at Carbeth Home Farm, Stirlingshire, he drew comparison between maximising grassland output and having to purchase expensive animal feed.

“Grass is the cheapest feed farmers have access to in terms of raising livestock. The greatest resource farmers have is their soil and livestock farmers need to get that soil working effectively.”

The problem was recent weather patterns had led to real compaction problems and producers had to address and correct them before being able to grow a decent amount of crop. “Last year resulted in some badly damaged soils and, having fed the vast amount of our feed stocks, we are going to struggle to produce enough feed this year,” he added.

He advised getting a soil analysis along with a check on pH as a first step.

“A basic soil analysis will give us a nutrient management plan.”

Morgan urged farmers to act now to ensure they did not miss opportunities to maximise the potential of their grass. “Grass is currently growing very well and we are at risk of losing that quality if we are not on top of it.”