Forage for Knowledge
Published 24 April 15
All dairy farmers across Britain rely on high-quality forages as a basis for profitable milk production. As they play such a crucial role, DairyCo supplies you with the latest information about the production and utilisation of high-quality forages on the website and in the fortnightly e-newsletter Forage for Knowledge .
As part of the project, 13 farmers across GB are followed as they aim to supply high quality grazing throughout the season. Grass growth and analysis figures, with a comment, will be published on a weekly basis on the latest measures page and fortnightly e-newsletter.
The selected farms bring a range of experiences and are all examples of excellent grassland management. This year’s new contributors are: Tom Blanchard from Wiltshire, George Brown from Cumbria, Ben Walker from Norfolk and Karolina Klaskova from Hampshire.
Why measuring grass growth helps
Grazed grass is the cheapest feed on most British dairy farms, yet it is also the most poorly utilised. Whether grazed or fed as silage, grass provides over half the dry matter intake of most dairy cows. Measuring grass growth, eg with a rising plate meter, helps to demonstrate the true potential of grazed grass if managed well.
Well managed grass is a consistent feed and maintains quality across the grazing season. Over the last four years grass analysis from the DairyCo Forage for Knowledge programme has shown that it is possible to maintain an ME of about 12 across the season, wherever you are in the country.
DairyCo figures consistently show that forage utilisation is a huge profit driver across the board. Making and using good quality forage makes sense, whatever farming system you practise.
It’s only through regular monitoring of the quality and quantity you can make the most of grazing and it is probably worth more to your business than you think.
The farmers contributing their grass growth and analysis information in our Forage for Knowledge programme have a range of production systems and are all aiming to achieve maximum potential from their grass. By regularly publishing their measurements of grass growth (GG), analysis of dry matter (DM), metabolic energy (ME) and crude protein (CP) we will show you how these farms manage their grass to maximise utilisation and in turn profit.
The farmers contributing their grass growth and analysis information in our Forage for Knowledge programme have a range of production systems but are all aiming to achieve maximum potential from their grass. By regularly publishing their measurements of Grass growth, (GG) and analysis of Dry matter (DM), Metabolic energy (ME) and Crude Protein (CP) we will show you how these farms manage their grass to maximise utilisation and in turn profit.