Grazing calculator launched to simplify rotational grazing

The tool encourages performance-focused grassland management and regenerative agriculture
The tool encourages performance-focused grassland management and regenerative agriculture

A new online tool has been launched to help calculate the ideal space needed for grazing and optimise performance of land and livestock.

The Grazing Calculator tells farmers how much area they will need for their herd or flock, based on the desired number of grazing days and the characteristics of their animals and sward.

Created specifically for British farmers, the tool, by farm management software firm AgriWebb, can be used to work out the total area needed on farm or per rotational grazing space.

Results are provided by entering group size, average body weight, number of days rotation, food on offer and % bodyweight consumed.

For example, a herd of 200 with an average body weight of 500kg, grazing for five days with 1,200 kg/DM/ha on offer, and consuming 3% of their bodyweight, requires 12.5 ha.

The tool is intended to support farmers to improve rotational grazing and encourage regenerative agriculture practices.

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) estimates there is a potential £1.25 per day saving on cattle being at grass rather than being housed.

Clive Brown, AHDB’s head of knowledge exchange for beef and lamb said rotational grazing worked on the basic principle of ‘graze and rest’.

"The period of rejuvenation leads to higher yield, with research suggesting around 20% more grass is grown in a rotational grazing system.

"This, combined with the correct allocation of grass to stock class, results in more grass being utilised, which means more grass to convert into meat."

He added: “Tools that make it easier to understand what action needs to be taken on farm to maintain good rotational grazing patterns are beneficial.

"For example, regularly sub-dividing paddocks can be a great way to control and maintain ideal grazing levels as your herd or flock matures.”

The free online tool is now available for farmers to use.