Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Sheep sharing

Gareth Owen describes his sward management
Nearly a third of the School Farm demo catchment at Loddington is in grass that is owned and managed by neighbouring farmer, Gareth Owen, and grazed by part of his flock of 1,400 breeding ewes. The area includes some permanent pasture as well as leys of various ages.  The shorter term leys that he uses form part of our arable rotation, providing an opportunity to build soil organic matter and fertility, and to control blackgrass. Gareth uses our soil nutrient maps and soil temperature and moisture sensors in the catchment to inform his nutrient management and parasite control programmes.

Liz Genever looks for soil compaction and Rhizobium nodules on clover

Parasite control, and sward management for optimum nutrition are key areas of research on the farm, carried out in collaboration with Nottingham University.  The farm is also used for demonstration purposes, such as the Eblex event held there earlier this week.  We look forward to working more closely with Gareth and our research partners at Nottingham to optimise both resource use efficiency and environmental benefits in the School Farm catchment.

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