Welsh Pasture Project

Helping you get the best out of what is arguably your most important asset – your grassland

 

We have selected cross-sector farms located across Wales which will measure and monitor their weekly grass growth rates for Farming Connect’s new Welsh Pasture Project.

Each farm will use a plate meter to collect measurements and will also take monthly samples for quality analysis. The results will be shared with you on these web pages.

The farms will all measure the growth and quantity of available Dry Matter. They have all been asked to identify and compare different ways of managing grass – but the goal remains the same, to find the system which can best match the supply and demand of livestock needs. Each farm will also address the utilisation of quality feed.

This project will enable you to keep up to date with the progress from each location by clicking on our Welsh Pasture Project map and data.

We would encourage you to visit this map on a regular basis, to have a look at what grazing strategies and options are performing best, and then to consider whether some of these strategies could be beneficial if implemented within your business.

Click here to view the map and the latest data


Find a participating farm near you

Farming Connect has selected these cross-sector farms, located across Wales, to provide data for this project.

By clicking on the map, you will find a detailed description of each farm, together with background information which includes rainfall, latitude and detail on the various grazing strategies being utilised or trialled.

Begin by browsing the farms nearest you, but take a few minutes to see what is happening in other areas too.

Click on the farm that most closely matches your system to get an idea of current growth and management decisions which will range from fertiliser application to grazing strategies.


Top tips on grazing

Measuring how much feed is available in a field is done by either using a plate meter or a sward stick. You can then relate sward height back to kg DM/ha to assess the amount of available grass (also known as cover in a field). Try to graze as close to the 3 leaf stage, to maximise quality and energy intake.

Pre Grazing - dry matter feed intakes vary between animals and weight, therefore it is essential to calculate your demand needs based on your current system and livestock enterprise.

Post Grazing - you should aim for a post grazing target residual of around 4cm or 1,500kg DM/Ha. Grazing under the growing point of 4cm will diminish plant reserves and slow down the regrowth process.

 

Pre grazing target

Post grazing target

Dairy

2,700kg DM/Ha

4cm/ 1500kg DM/ha

Beef

2,500kg DM/ha

4cm/ 1500kg DM/ha

(set stocking aim for 2,000 to 2,500kg DM/ha)

Sheep

2,200kg DM/ha

4cm/ 1,500kg DM/ha

(set stocking aim for 1,800 to 2,000kg DM/ha)


Farming Connect offers a wealth of services and arranges knowledge transfer events that will provide you with support, guidance and training. If you need further advice or information, contact a Farming Connect Technical Officer or contact one of our Farming Connect Mentors who specialise in grass measurment: David Williams (Flintshire), Eurig Jenkins (Ceredigion), Gwydion Jones (Conwy), Rhys Williams (Llŷn & Snowdonia), Richard Rogers (Anglesey).