Newton Rigg College hosts Grasslands Technical Event

Top industry specialists working together on innovative practices.

A ‘Grassland Technical Event’ was held Newton Rigg College, Sewborwens Farm, where a collaborative partnership of specialists from Carrs Billington, Agrovista, CF Fertilisers and Barenbrug and attendees from the farming community met to examine topics around the effects of planning, efficiency, profitability and sustainability in forage-based livestock production.  During the past twelve months, Sewborwens Farm at Newton Rigg College hosted ongoing practical forage trials. During the day’s event, results from those trials were shared along with other potential ideas to improve efficiency to forage-based production including improvement to soil health, choosing the best grass species for farms, forage nutrient planning and efficient forage utilisation for dairy cows.

Head of Farms for Askham Bryan College, Matt Bagley, who moderated the day’s event, says “We are always reviewing and improving methods and practices that will optimise productivity for farms. Today’s discussions involved representation from all the required parties who can expertly inform on this area of agriculture.  The conclusions and actions we’ve taken away from the day about increasing efficiency and profitability were reported on and shared with our fellow industry partners and farmers to help benefit their businesses.”

Mhairi Dawson, Research and Development Manager, Barenbrug, “Barenbrug have worked with the Newton Rigg team for a number of years aiming to increase productivity and efficiency from the grass as part of their whole enterprise. With grassland making up 70% of the UK’s agricultural area, we are delighted to be able to share our knowledge with other forward thinking grassland farmers. We aim to inspire even small changes which can have significant results as part of this excellent technical event.”

Mark Holliday of Carrs Billington Agriculture said, “Carrs Billington is proud to be associated with Newton Rigg College, the exceptional management standards on this dairy unit produce a combination of high milk yields and milk soilds to help maximise the potential offered by their Arla contract. Production is achieved efficiently with optimum use of the quality home produced forages. Currently cows are averaging 35 litres per day at 4.1% butterfat, 3.28% protein. Rolling milk yield averages 10 800 l/cow and M+ 2000 litres is produced from forage. The diet is grass and maize silages, fodder beet, urea treated wheat and protein blend to feed for over M+30 litres in the TMR, with Rumen Aid 18 fed to yield in the parlour”