The QMS "Better Grazing" grazing project, which launched in July 2017, aims to help farmers identify opportunities to improve their utilisation of grazed grass and follows the very successful QMS Grazing Group project that ended in April 2017.
The new “Better Grazing” initiative has established five regional groups in Perth, Inverurie, Inverness, Lockerbie and Melrose. Each group will meet four times a year and will help livestock farmers around Scotland find ways to improve the utilisation of grass on their farms and increase the kilogrammes of meat produced per hectare.
Scotland’s climate is well suited to growing grass. However, it’s not just about the quantity of grass we can grow here - quality is also fundamental to maximising its value for livestock. Understanding how to maximise both quality and quantity is key to turning grass, our cheapest and best feed, into meat.
Well managed grazed grassland can help:
- Reduce input costs, particularly purchased feed
- Improve livestock performance
- Increase livestock output
- Ensure fertiliser and manure is efficiently utilised
- Reduce the number of days stock are housed
The better you can use a pasture, the more you can make from it.
Grazing fields at the right time, at the right height, with the right amount of stock, is the key to making the most from grass. It’s a balance between yield and utilisation. Giving grass a period of rest, by moving stock to another field, can improve yields by around 20%. Increasing the grazing pressure can increase the amount of high quality grass that is utilised, thus maximising stock performance.
The Better Grazing initiative follows from the successful 'Grazing Group' project, which supported six Grazing Groups across the country over a three year period. Each group was based around one of six host farms - listed below: