Applications for Welsh grassland programme now open

'Prosper from pasture' – application window for the new grassland programme is now open until 9 December
'Prosper from pasture' – application window for the new grassland programme is now open until 9 December

A programme which aims to develop Welsh farmers' knowledge, skills and confidence in grassland management is now open.

Permanent pasture grassland is dominant across Wales, it accounts for more than 75 percent of the total farmed area.

Good quality grazed grass and forage can help farmers improve milk yields and liveweight gains.

Prosper from Pasture, a short programme by the Welsh government's Farming Connect initiative, has three levels - Entry, Intermediate and Advanced.

It will offer the opportunity for farmers of all knowledge levels to make changes to their businesses to improve profitability and sustainability of their farm.

Applicants are invited to determine what level best suits them and their business.

At first, they are invited to consider the Entry level programme which is aimed towards farmers who are considering what changes they could make to their business to increase profitability.

The Prosper from Pasture Entry level is a series of five one-day events, each targeted at a specific introductory aspect of grassland utilisation.

These include: Understanding your business; soil and sustainable systems; grass, herbs and forage crops; grazing management for a profitable business; animal health and genetics.

Successful participants of the Entry level can then progress to Intermediate level, called Master Grass, a residential two-day programme.

Master Grass is for beef, sheep or dairy farmers who are keen to develop their understanding of grassland management and learn about the latest knowledge and techniques available.

The level also offers a chance for likeminded farmers to meet and share ideas on developing their businesses.

Successful participants of the Intermediate level who apply the knowledge gained to their own business can progress to apply to be a member of a Prosper from Pasture advanced level group.

Seven regional Advanced level groups have been held throughout Wales, which were facilitated and chaired by Precision Grazing consultants.

Meetings were held on the farms of members where the focus on key topics were seasonal and data driven, with each member required to provide their data on grass growth, average grass cover, grass demand and topic related data to the group in order to benchmark and to facilitate discussions on best practice.

Each participant will need to confirm that their business has a valid (max 5 years old) Nutrient Management Plan.

The application window closes 12pm on Monday 9 December.