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.

Grassland management – art or science?

Grassland management – art or science?

At a recent workshop run by the Advanced Training Partnership (ATP), which is currently delivering postgraduate distance learning for people working in the agri-food industry (www.atp-pasture.org.uk), Dr Iwan Owen of IBERS gave a great précis of UK grassland farming.

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Even the best can keep on learning about grass!

Even the best can keep on learning about grass!

Northern Ireland beef producer Sam Chesney is riding high as last year’s Farmers Weekly Beef Farmer of the Year, and making it to the final of the British Grassland Society’s National Grassland Management Competition this year.

But, as 160 farmers heard at a recent Ulster Grassland Society farm walk, he is always looking for ways to improve still further.

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Grass platform brings lab research and practical farming closer together

Grass platform brings lab research and practical farming closer together

A world-leading research facility that will mimic on-farm scenarios was launched in sweltering heat in Devon last week.

The North Wyke Farm Platform – part of Rothamsted Research and funded to the tune of £3.6million by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), will bring scientists from across the world to the UK to work on grassland.
Large amounts of data will be generated to help identify practices which are productive and economic for farmers, but that have the least negative environmental impact

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