Obsessive grassland management - Forage Field Gloucestershire

Published 24 April 15

Obsessive grassland management lies at the heart of thinking at Lydney Park Farm, in Gloucestershire, the location of the DairyCo/BGS/RABDF Forage Field event on Tuesday 28 April.

On the day, there will be a chance to hear from farm manager Gavin Green, herd manager Keith Davis and the team at Lydney Park about the evolution of the business, grassland management and breeding the right cow for the system.

In 2007, the herd was a high-input Holstein Frisian herd, with an average yield of 9,200kg/cow, milking three times a day and was housed full-time. It has since transformed into a grazing-based unit, with 880, predominantly, Jersey cross cows into two, once a day, milking herds.

With such a radical change in farming system, managing financial risk has been one of the key components of decision, and both Gavin and Keith will talk about how they manage this within the successful business.

The concentrate usage is low, with the aim for 2015 being in the region of 200 – 250kg/cow and yields per cow are approximately 4,000 litres. Soil testing is carried out every four years, and slurry is spread using an umbilical system, with straight N supplied as fertiliser.

Grass growth is measured weekly, with budget programmes used to ensure the best grassland utilisation possible.  In 2014, the farm grew an average of 14.4 tonnes DM/ha.

For more information and to reserve a place, click here.