1 2.5 4
The above figures would describe a lot of Instances, as in 1st Leaf of grass is produced from its Sugar stores. At the 2.5 leave stage the optimum grazing stage is reached for Maximum Energy and Protein content and when 4th leave emerges on Ryegrass the 1st Leave produced dies off!
However in a recent meetings with AHDB Dairy around the Country on “Great Grazing”, Dr Noel Gowan from the Grasstecgroup Ireland, pictured above, described the “1” as being the relative cost of Grass, the “2.5” was the relative cost of Silage and the “4” being the relative cost of Concentrates.
It is thanks to the founder of the Grasstecgroup, BertieTroy, whom I met in Ireland 20 years ago that I have been using a his then assembled platemeter (Pictured below with Dr Noel Gowan) to measure grass ever since. The platemeter is a bit broken in places and still working well. The handle is taped up, the Knob on top is missing and the battery cover came out somewhere and it too is taped up.
This “Grazing Mindset” which Dr Noel Gowan referend to at the start of his talk allowed me to farm and make a good profit even during very Low Milk prices (down to 17 ppl 10 years ago), where profit was down to a couple of £100/cow. It is good to see that amongst my grazing farmer customers their profits could be well over double that, using grazed grass as their main forage.
However unlike Dr Noel Gowan, the ration of my farmer’s costs using recent True forage cost (AHDB 2014) figures based on actual Welsh Farm data be farmers cost to be nearer to:
1 1.5 1.5
Still showing Grass to be a cheap feed, but Concentrate cost to be a lot less than presented previously. For information on how to do this on your farm please e-mail me on email@example.com.
Picture showing Dr Noel Gowan (Grasstec) holding up a 20 year Old Platemeter, (My apologies about the picture quality)