September 2018
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Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board

Forage for Knowledge

The latest from AHDB on grass and forage management

September 2018

Welcome to September's Forage for Knowledge, AHDB’s bi-monthly newsletter bringing you the latest research and advice on grass, forage and soil management.

Grass growth has been lower that average due to the hot and dry summer we have faced. In this issue we speak to farmers on how the weather has affected them and give you plenty of advice on how to move forward to ensure a successful 2019 grazing season.

We hope you enjoy reading this issue and if you have any comments or content contributions you would like to make please feel free to get in touch. You can email us at


Expert view - going forward after a difficult grazing year with Andre Van Barneveld 
The 2019 grazing season starts now. That's the message from farm consultant Andre Van Barneveld from Graise Consultancy, as he tells all about how farmers can plan ahead to ensure a successful 2019 grazing season. Catch up here


Do it now - Feed and Forage Calculator
In a year where feedstocks are limited, assessing and analysing feed and forage is crucial. Read our step to step guide on how to use our Feed and Forage Calculator, to help you make decisions on selling stock or purchasing additional feeds. Find out more


How to - Estimating feedstock quantity and quality 
If you have brassica crops available for the winter, it's important to take into account how much is available when calculating feed stocks. We demonstrate how to measure the dry matter yield of crop to accurately plan feed and budget. Learn more here


Strategic Farms- Chance Hall Farm - coping with the drought with forward planning
Like all farmers across the UK, strategic farmers Tom and Karen Halton have felt the brunt of the drought. They share how the drought has impacted them and what steps they are taking to protect their business during this volatile period. Catch up with the interview here.


Making better conserved forage campaign - maize focus
Maize harvesting is likely to be a few weeks early this year following the hot summer, so accurately assessing crop maturity before harvesting is critical. This issue we focus on maize, knowing when it's ready to harvest, how silage additives can encourage growth and more. Click here to keep reading.

Latest grass analysis
Average grass growth decreased slightly since last week by just over
3 kg DM/ha to 45.6 kg DM/ha, slightly lower than at the 47 kg DM/ha recorded at the same time last year.

See the growth figures across GB here

The benefit of planning winter feed
Strategic farmer Guy Prudom rents 400 ha near Whitby, North Yorkshire, with both arable and beef production on farm. Recently, he has been focussing on home-produced feed, using perennial ryegrass, crimped cereals, whole-cropped beans and clover leys. Find out how his new feed plan is working here.


Boost knowledge - feed and forage analysis
This year, analysis of conserved forages and other feed is crucial, to ensure the appropriate amount is being fed whilst stocks are appropriately rationed to ensure enough feed for the winter. Check out our useful resources and information here

Book now- Sheep Technical Workshops

Join Dr Phil Creighton, sheep systems researcher from Teagasc and Dr Liz Genever from AHDB Beef & Lamb, to explore winter feed options and choices for farmers with deficits of winter feed. Phil will be talking about setting up grazing rotations for the spring to reduce the impact of this year on the next lamb crop. Book your closest workshop here

AHDB - have your say
Farmers, growers, processors and industry representatives are being asked for their views on the future role and remit of AHDB.

As we leave the EU, there is an opportunity to ensure the sectors that AHDB covers are as competitive as possible. This government-led review, open until midnight on Friday 9 November, will look at AHDB’s purpose and priorities, its strengths and where improvements can be made.

For more information and details on how to respond, please visit