Experienced farmer profile: Richard Rees
Farm name and location: Penmaen Bach, Pennal, Machynlleth
Stocking rate (cows/ha or kgLW/ha): 280 KgLW/ha without lambs
Main soil type: Silty clay loam
Soil fertility: Aiming for pH to be above 6, with almost all ground apart from rough grazing reaching this
Nitrogen application rates at the moment - do you have plans to reduce this and how? Zero on grazing fields. It has been 160 kgN/ha in the past. Will use as needed on silage fields
Main pasture type (the area being measured): Long term ryegrass leys with some herbal leys
Tonnes of dry matter (tDM)/ha grown in 2021: 7.5
Rounds of grazing achieved per paddock/ year: 7-8
How have you split the farm up? Number and size of paddocks? The main block has been split into 33 paddocks of roughly 2ha, with the silage aftermath down to 0.5ha to graze lambs post weaning
Have you got a specific day of the week when you walk your grazing round and measure pasture growth? Usually Sunday
Why do you consider grass measuring essential to your management? Being able to plan ahead for any surplus/deficit in grass is essential for planning grazing/silaging, in order to keep grass quality as high as possible
What grazing management principles do you abide by? Hitting residuals is key to maintaining quality, especially with this being a sheep only farm - quality is everything!
How do you deal with extreme weather conditions, such as drought or wet grazing conditions? Target wet/dry paddocks, depending on the extreme weather. And keep them moving; it’ll come right in the end!