AgriSearch are rolling out a major province-wide survey to investigate the barriers that prevent beef and dairy farmers from maximising production from grazed and conserved grass, as well as the factors that prevent the uptake of new grassland management technology.

A recent study carried out by AFBI has indicated that the average grass utilised on Northern Ireland dairy farms is 7.5t DM/ha per year.  The same study indicated that the average grass utilised on beef farms is 4.1t DM/ha/year.  This is significantly lower than the potential of modern grass varieties which can achieve yields of up to 15t DM/ha/year.

Research has also shown that by improving grass utilisation on dairy and beef farms by 1t DM/ha, an increased profit of £334/ha/year and £204/ha/year respectively could be achieved.

Over the coming weeks AgriSearch will be contacting dairy and beef farmers from right across Northern Ireland asking them to participate in the study.

Specifically, the survey will aim to gather detailed information on the current practices employed on-farm in relation to grazing and grassland management, attitudes to improving grass utilisation and general knowledge on grass production.

The survey will also compile information on the challenges faced by farmers in trying to improve production from forage as well as any future research areas which farmers feel would be beneficial to them regarding grassland efficiency.

All responses will be treated in the strictest confidence.  Personalised data from this study will not be shared.