Beef producers could learn a lot from their dairy counterparts by making better use of grass and substantially improve profitability as a result, according to experts from Grassland & Muck.
Grazed grass costs just £57/t of dry matter, according to AHDB figures, compared with up to £140/t for a 16 per cent protein cattle ration.
Visitors to the Grassland & Muck event can find out how to make the most of this low-cost feed, and hear from speakers including Matt House.
Matt is taking part in AHDB Beef & Lamb's beef from grass project, which has involved soil sampling and setting up a nutrient management plan on the farm.
He has switched to year-round rotational grazing, moving the cows every 24-48 hours.
He monitors grass growth on a weekly basis, using the data to generate a growth and demand profile.
Matt said: "Dairy farmers have been utilising grass to the maximum for years, but the beef industry has been slower to take this up.
“There are low returns in the beef sector, so we need to do something different to cut our costs.
“This allows us to make the best use of the grass, whether for grazing or conservation.
“Moving to a year-round grazing system has been a steep learning curve but has saved on feed, fuel and labour and is the best thing I could have done.”
It's not just beef producers who can make more of their grass, dairy farmers can boost efficiencies too.
Kingshay data highlights that the top 25 per cent of dairy producers achieve 2,530 litres per cow more from forage than the bottom quartile.
It is also important to calculate how many cattle the grazing platform can support.
While mid-pregnancy cows need to be allocated 1.5 per cent of their body weight in dry matter intake per day, late lactation cows should eat two per cent of their body weight.
Early to mid lactation cows need 2.5 per cent and growing cattle should have three per cent per day.
An average weight, number of stock in the group and area available need to be used as part of the calculation to plan stocking.
The ideal time to turn stock out is when pasture reaches 2,500kg/ha of dry matter,
Sarah Pick, scientific officer at AHDB Beef & Lamb, said: "Identify which fields are producing the most grass and coincide your rotation with that. Good infrastructure will ease management.
"When grass grows past this, utilisation and feed quality drops rapidly."