Drive Up Profits With A Visit To Grassland & Muck

UK - Livestock farmers have plenty of scope to improve profits from grass and forage, according to a recent survey carried out by the Royal Agricultural Society of England and fertiliser manufacturer Yara.
calendar icon 4 April 2011
clock icon 2 minute read

The findings, which will be revealed in full at Grassland & Muck 2011 next month, show many farmers are not using the full range of tools at their disposal to calculate crop nutrition need or to apply nutrients as accurately as they might.

Just five per cent of those questioned carried out a full nutrient management plan, disappointingly low given that this provides a key starting point for recommendations, says Yara’s marketing manager Rosie Carne. “A plan like this takes full account of nutrients from manures and soil, allowing you to accurately calculate what is additionally needed from fertiliser.”

While a quarter of those surveyed used the Fertiliser Manual (RB209) to calculate grass nutrient requirements, 42 per cent of respondents were not aware of last year’s changes to the recommendations to allow for different farming systems and levels of intensity.

However, calculating nutrient need is only half the battle. Nutrients then have to be applied accurately to ensure optimum crop performance and to get the best return on investment. Many grassland farmers appear to take little count of this – with 13 per cent never checking their machine.

“This is one of the most disappointing findings - inaccurate spreading will typically cost approximately 0.16t/ha of yield per cut, or £54/ha in equivalent milk yield potential,” says Ms Carne.

Full survey results will be available on the Yara stand (322) at Grassland & Muck 2011. It’s the event which any farmer who is serious about maximising forage production cannot afford to miss, says event manager Kate Rider. “The survey shows there are still key areas that need to be addressed, and, with over 200 exhibitors on site, there will be a wealth of technical advice on hand to help plug the gaps.”

As well as the exhibitor stands, an abundance of variety, nutrition and weed control advice will be brought to life on the demonstration plots, and a topical forum programme, sponsored by Keenan, will tackle a range of grass, forage and muck issues.

More than 12,000 farmers and contractors from Great Britain and Ireland are expected to visit Grassland & Muck 2011, organised by RASE and partnered by Yara. The event takes place on 18th and 19th May at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire.

Tickets can be booked in advance via the website and cost just £13 each for a standard adult ticket, a £3 saving on the gate price. Please note that student tickets, priced £12, are only available in advance.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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