Changing the future of food and farming

Diverse and herb based swards

Event Date : October 9, 2012

Venue: Seven Tuns, Chedworth, near Cirencester, GL54 4AE

Meeting including discussions and a farm Walk at Manor Farm, Chedworth, courtesy of Mrs Clark, led by Farm Manager Rob Richmond (Nuffield Scholar)

10 am – 3pm Tuesday 9 October 2012

The discussions will be held at the Seven Tuns, Chedworth, where lunch can be purchased.

Please register by contacting William Waterfield at the Farm Consultancy Group 01264 367900 or e-mail

For further details contact Katharine Leach at the Organic Research Centre or William Waterfield as above.

Programme

One of the aims of the meeting is to identify objectives and participants for participatory research on mixed swards on organic and low input dairy farms, to be conducted as part of the SOLID project.

Improving productivity from home produced forages is key for organic and low input farms. Diverse swards and herb-rich leys are seen by some as offering ways of improving sward performance, drought resistance and animal performance. Farm Manager Rob Richmond has been growing herbal leys for the past six years and over the last three has increasingly adopted a mob grazing system. The farm walk offers a unique opportunity to view this novel approach to dairy pasture management. After lunch there will be the chance to discuss how this system might be incorporated onto other farms and to join a European-wide research project.

10.00 Arrival

10.15 Introductory discussions

  • Katharine Leach: Introduction to SOLID project
  • William Waterfield: Beyond ryegrass – diverse sward mixtures; options for grazing and silage
  • Rob Richmond: Outcomes from Nuffield Farming Scholarships Study; results after 6 years in terms of production and soil at Manor Farm

11.15 Farm walk with Farm Manager Rob Richmond

  • Established diverse swards and mob grazing practices
  • Delayed grazing of herbal swards for out-wintering

13.00 Lunch at the Seven Tuns – to be purchased by participants

13.45 Further presentations

  • Summary from the morning
  • Summary of the outcomes of the Leglink project
  • Proposed research through the SOLID project

14:15 Group discussion

  • What do you want out of your swards?
  • Different mixes for different soils, different mixes for silage
  • Sward quality/productivity, ensiling small quantities of silage

15.00 Depart

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