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.
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.
In 3,291 soil tests carried out on beef and sheep pasture by EBLEX, with the Environment Agency (EA) and the Farming Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG), only a shocking 2% of fields had the perfect nutrient levels to support good grass growth.
Congratulations to the winners of this year’s Farmers Weekly Awards – especially dairy Farmer Gavin Fowler, beef producer Sam Chesney and overall winner, hill farmer Charlie Russell.
It’s easy digging for rabbits in a field of red clover in Shropshire – as the worst drought in living memory has yet to break.