Welsh beef and sheep farmers interested in participating in a pioneering UK grass production project now have the opportunity to apply to take part.
GrasscheckGB works with nine beef and sheep farmers across Wales who measure grass weekly, and submit grass samples for analysis every fortnight during the growing season, in order to better manage grazed grassland and improve grass utilisation, farm profitability and sustainability.
Farmers who join the project will be equipped with an automatic weather station which records temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction, solar radiation and soil moisture.
Farmers are also provided with training and support in using software and equipment as part of the project.
Hybu Cig Cymru research and development executive Dr Heather McCalman explained: “We know that Wales is one of the best places to grow grass in the world. This means we can rear high-quality livestock mainly using grazed pasture, the sun and rainwater, rather than buying in costly imported feed.
“We are currently looking to offer two Welsh farm businesses the exciting opportunity to participate in the GrasscheckGB project as our intake window reopens.”
Richard Rees, who farms with his brother Huw Llyr at Penmaen Bach near Machynlleth, is currently in his second year as a GrasscheckGB farmer.
Penmaen Bach covers 60ha with 30ha rough grazing. Huw and Richard run a flock of 400 Aberfield cross ewes to Abermax rams.
They are aiming to finish all lambs off grass on a rotational grazing system incorporating chicory and lucerne. The farm is trying to keep costs as low as possible by emphasising grass production and root crop use for wintering.
Richard said: “GrasscheckGB has been a great opportunity for us to understand more about our grass growth here at Penmaen Bach. The data and support provided has been highly valuable and I would encourage other farmers to make the most of the opportunity to take part.”
To express interest in taking part in the project or for further information, farmers can contact HCC on 01970 625050 or [email protected]
Application forms can also be found on the HCC website. Applications should be made by the end of day on 19 February.