The climatic conditions in Wales are ideally suited to grass production. This is the cheapest feed source for ruminant livestock and supply can be maximised with careful management. Ensuring that the greatest efficiency is made from grass will lower production costs and also lower potential GHG emissions.
An important factor for efficient grassland utilisation is that the use of all grazeable and forage areas is maximised. Sward sticks should be used regularly to measure the length of the grass; this will help with knowing when livestock should be moved from one field to another to ensure greatest productivity.
There are various other grassland and forage management practices that can have an impact on GHG emissions, these include:
- The use of High Sugar Ryegrasses in swards – refer to the Recommended Grass and Clover Lists for details.
- The use of clovers to increase productivity while having the additional advantage of reducing fertiliser requirements.
- The utilisation of other forages can also enhance production e.g. chicory, brassicas and maize.
The following publications have been produced by HCC and will help grassland and forage management on your farm:
Practical advice to assist livestock farmers to achieve good grassland management. It describes the benefits of utilising high quality forages and different grazing systems whilst meeting cross compliance and minimising environmental impact.
Benefits of Mixed Grazing
Mixed grazing in Wales delivers a number of benefits including environmental, better forage utilisation and improved health. This booklet outlines how these advantages can be achieved.
Recommended Grass and Clover Lists 2015
A list of recommended varieties that is drawn up following rigorous independent testing. This booklet assists farmers in choosing the varieties that best suit their systems.