The second event in the EIT Food ‘Focus on Farmers’ Virtual Farm Walk and Discussion series is now available to watch on the AgriSearch website and YouTube channel.

Dr Francis Lively from AFBI spoke at the “Focus on Farmers” virtual farm walk on value and importance of grass in beef production systems

This episode saw a great turnout with over 60 attending the live event, featuring Sam Chesney (County Down), James Evans (Shropshire) and Dr Francis Lively from AFBI discussing optimising beef productivity from grassland.  The event was chaired by James Draper Senior Agriculture Manager at ABP.

The event began with Francis Lively providing an update on current research surrounding the value and importance of grass, stating “By increasing grass utilisation by one tonne of dry matter per hectare and improving quality is worth an extra £218/ha/year to a beef farmer” so encouraged all participants to utilise it to its full value.

Following this, Sam Chesney provided an insight into how he measures grass on his farm on the Ards peninsula and outlined the benefits of the GrassCheck programme and AgriNet farm package and how he uses these systems to plan ahead.

Sam Chesney outlined the benefit of grass measurement on his farm near Kircubbin in the Ards peninsula at the “Focus on Farmers” virtual farm walk













James Evans detailed how he is grazing for profit on his farm in Shropshire after making the switch to organic production, giving more information on the use of herbal leys in his grazing rotations and sharing some of the lessons he has learned since converting to organic production.

The session was concluded by Professor Nigel Scollan from Queen’s University, Belfast, who summarised the presentations by giving some valuable take-home messages about the value of grazed grass.

The next virtual farm walk will take place on Monday 7th September at 8pm.  The topic for the evening will be soil health and the use of multispecies swards.   Speakers will include Prof Martin Lukac and David Humphries from the University of Reading as well as Sam Chesney and James Evans.  The following event will take place on Monday 21st September and will be on the theme of net zero carbon beef farming.  Farmers can register for these events through the AgriSearch website.