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!
The Speedrite S1000 (solar powered energizer) now gives them great peace of mind as it provides the power of mains electricity with the convenience and portability of Solar. Using the digital vault meter allows you to easily monitor your fence line and act on it quickly to ensure the livestock remain contained, especially during the weekend.
The target is a 300kg carcass at 20-24 months, Aled cannot influence the price received but he can influence the Cost of Production, improve grass utilisation by 10-20%, cut winter feed and fertiliser costs to a 5-figure saving. Peak grass growth aim is to have stocking at - 2250 Kg / LW / Ha with a Target across the farmed area for the year – 1500 kg / LW / Ha.
It is estimated that to do rotational grazing properly, you will need an investment of £300 per ha, however this can be saved in the 1st year on feed and fertiliser costs, rotational grazing will be your quickest return on investment.
The only obstacle to this system is YOU! It needs a change of mind-set and confidence in its ability to make financial returns and grow lots of grass! It is a system that needs time, time to plate meter, read the data and set up the fences, but the returns are great and the peace of mind, knowing you are in control are even greater!
Browse the range of Speedrite electric fencing equipment here: https://www.datamars.co.uk/speedrite
Or speak to one of our team to help you get set up: https://www.datamars.co.uk/meet-the-team