Grass proves its value on welsh dairy farms

Published 18 July 14

Grass proves its value on Welsh dairy farms

Welsh dairy farmers have proved that it is possible to achieve a 100% return on the cost of growing grass.

The three-year Grass Value study, a key element of the Improving the Welsh Dairy Supply Chain initiative, has shown that pasture is worth £197t/DM which is £100t/DM less than it costs to grow.

The best paddocks even managed to produce grass for as little as £40/ton – by growing 15.2t DM/ha.

John Owen, who led the study, says the results have exciting implications for farmers in Wales, a country known for its ability to grow grass well.

He believes all but the highest yielding herds have the potential to exploit well-managed grazed grass. “Many herds with yields of up to 9,000l per cow achieve a proportion of their yield from forage, with a good share of this from grazing. With the right infrastructure and effective management, grazed grass can replace more expensive conserved forages without compromising yield, leading to increases in herd profitability.’’

A key finding of the European and Welsh government-funded study was that simply growing large quantities of grass was not at the heart of profitability grass had to be managed well.

Click here for the full project report for Grass Value.