7 years ago Aled grabbed the opportunity to come home and take over the running of 3 family farms, covering 400 acres. The goal for Aled is to make a profit of £450-£500 per ha, he worked backwards to achieve this, and did not want to rely on the unpredictable market prices to achieve this, so instead he looked at where he could save money and utilise his biggest, and cheapest resource – grass!
The farm rears and finishes 480 dairy beef and 450 NZ Romney X Highlander sheep, using rotational grazing. Aled started with a ‘blank’ canvas when he came home which meant he did not have to phase out one system to another, but he did start conservatively, firstly splitting fields into 2 or 4 paddocks, he soon became addicted to seeing the grass grow in abundance.
2018 and meeting James Daniels of Precision Grazing at the Farming Connect Prosper from Pasture course gave him the push to go full on with rotational grazing.
The whole farm was mapped by GPS and 0.45ha Cells created, using permanent mains fed and temporary solar powered electric fencing. The Cells ensure consistency and remove the guess work out of sizing the Cell or Paddock. Each Cell is grazed from 24 - 72hours depending on grass growth. Monday is grass measuring day, when the whole farm is plate metered, the data is downloaded into AgriNet software, which maps out your grass usage, great in excessive grass growth, bales can be cut and grass quality remains, or in times of drought, predictions can be made to ensure there is enough feed available. It takes out the guess work, gives control and a nice ‘boring’ System with a consistent straight line! ???
Previously, Aled had used Battery Energizers to power his electric fencing system which he found were great the 1st day but soon lose their charge and the cattle ‘test’ the fence and will break through to new growth or back onto the unprotected re-growth in no time!