Farming & Food
Grass provides the perfect diet for cattle and sheep. It is all they need to produce nutritious, healthy meat for people to cook and eat.
But grass can be tricky to manage. Its one aim in life is to grow, produce a seed head and then die. Only skilled grassland farmers can manage it to produce high quality animal food throughout the year – grazed out in the fields or given as conserved winter-feed, either dried as hay or pickled as silage.
The people I write about in these blogs are some of the best and most innovative farmers and chefs in the world. They look after their soils, their land and their animals and take great care to source and prepare the best meat possible. We should be proud of them all.
Three cheers for milk producer Neil Darwent for setting up Free Range Dairy to promote the value of pasture-based milk production in the UK.
His objectives are to: create a truly sustainable dairy industry; demonstrate that good welfare and profitability go hand in hand; promote the value of milk from grass; engage farmers and consumers; facilitate knowledge transfer between farmers
Soil beneath grassland stores up to 70t/ha of carbon (25t/ha more than arable crops), and acts as a valuable sink for carbon dioxide, one of the gases on the climate change blacklist.
This was confirmed by Northern Ireland farmer Dr John Gilliland OBE last week, at the Malvern Farming Conference held at the Three Counties Showground.
Pasture to Profit Conference
250 young, successful, profitable, grassland farmers met at Worcester Rugby Club today to learn from each other and speakers from across the world.
Jim Paice MP, Minister of State for Agriculture and Food launched LEAF’s latest farm management tool yesterday in London.
I was told off by Aussie grazing guru Frank Tyndall when we met on a dairy farm in Kent recently – for extolling the virtues of the New Zealand system which ‘forces’ dairy cows to graze down to the ground before moving to the next paddock.
Hooray for ASDA for encouraging its 13,500 milk, beef and lamb suppliers to embrace new grass breeding technology.