Ffosygravel Uchaf, Borth, Ceredigion

Focus Site Project: Comparing systems of measuring grassland production

Aim of project

The focus of this project is to compare the accuracy of two grass measuring systems; plate meter and satellite imagery. A cut and weigh method will also be used monthly to ensure accuracy. We will be subdividing the fields and mapping out the infrastructure for water accessibility and paddock access for easily accessible grazing management at Ffosygravel. 

Correct allocation of grazing paddocks will allow Mr Griffiths to offer optimum three-leaf stage grass with good levels of metabolisable energy (ME) and digestibility (D value), whilst also leaving a residual for quality regrowth in the following rotation. Having the correct balance of feed is more difficult in grass than feeding TMR (total mixed ration) and, therefore, the accuracy of grass measurements is key for utilisation. 

Grass will be measured by satellite imagery, plate meter and cut and weigh to compare accuracy. This will allow us to assess the ability of satellite imagery to increase grass production and grass quality (tDM) at Ffosygravel. 

Early turnout and spring grazing management is underestimated, and therefore autumn closing management and closing cover are both vital for adequate spring grass wedge. If we are to achieve 10 grazing rotations in the year, the first rotation needs to be finished by early April and two and a half grazing rotation by early May. 

By improving grazing management decision making, we aim to achieve at least one more rotation with increased grass utilisation, whilst also ensuring that the last round of grazing allows for a spring wedge for the next turnout in 2022 and a possible earlier turnout.

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