Hooray for ASDA for encouraging its 13,500 milk, beef and lamb suppliers to embrace new grass breeding technology.
They are offering to buy an extra acre bag of Aber High Sugar grass seed, for every ten acres purchased by the farmer from seed company British Seed Houses – a saving of £55-£60 per ten acres.
As well as increasing milk yields and allowing beef and sheep to grow faster on less expensive feed, these grasses also cut CO2 emissions from animals. This is because they can convert more of the protein in this type of grass into milk and meat, rather than letting it go out in their faeces and urine.
The supermarket, the first to instigate such an initiative, aims to cut emissions from its farmers’ cows and sheep by 186,000 tonnes – equivalent to taking 78,000 cars off the road.
Pearce Hughes, Asda’s agricultural manager said: “Our tests show high sugar grasses increase yields, reduce bought-in feed costs and saves carbon emissions, making it a perfect formula for British Farming.
“Our aim is to ensure long-term financial sustainability for our farmers, as well as making sure we’re doing our bit for the environment, so this is a natural grass choice for us.
“By introducing Aber HSG to our extensive British farming network we will increase profitability by over £10m in the first year alone – money in the pockets of farmers.
“This programme will also contribute to Walmart’s global goal of removing 20 million tonnes of greenhouse gases from the supply chain.”