Grass | UK Farming's Crop

Good quality grazed grassland is the cheapest feed for ruminant livestock and is the base upon which profitable farming is built. Over 70% of utilisable agricultural land in the UK is grassland with nearly 57% given over as permanent pasture.

The UK has the ideal climate for growing grass. Ryegrass grows best at between 5°C to 25°C – and most of the UK is between these temperatures 95% of the time.

Like all other crops, growing grass requires careful management to maximise yields and utilisation. It is a science – but a relatively simple one to grasp once you have a basic understanding of plant as well as animal physiology and good soil management techniques.

Armed with information about how grass grows and the different species and management techniques available, it is easy for farmers to make informed choices about what kind of grass to grow; when to sow it; when to graze it; how long to graze it for; and what to do to ensure its performance long-term.



Grass | The Benefits

Aside from farm gate prices, which are not within our control, there are two driving factors in every farming enterprise:

  • Production costs
  • Animal and crop performance


By aiming to reduce production costs and improve animal and crop (especially grass) performance we can maximise productivity and therefore improve profitability.


One of the best ways of doing this is to grow as much top-quality forage as possible – reducing your reliance on bought-in feed products.


Grazed grass is the cheapest feed available on most British farms.


Whether grazed or fed as silage, it can provide more than half of the dry matter intake of most dairy cows and, as a general rule, more for beef animals and sheep.



Grass | The Potential



The UK has over 17 million hectares of managed grassland – yet much of it is poorly utilised.

To grow top quality forage efficiently, it is important that leys are in good condition and not overrun with weed grasses that have little or no nutritional value.

The best way to get the most from your grass is to maintain young, well-managed clover / ryegrass-based swards – either by regularly reseeding or overseeding.

By treating grass like any other arable crop; selecting the right grass seed products for your farm; and reseeding regularly, it is possible to have a major impact on milk and meat production costs.

Did you know that making a relatively small investment in your grass can have a major impact on its quality, productivity and utilisation?

A reseeding rate of just 10% is enough to prevent a decline in grass productivity while a 15% rate will start to deliver real gains. Conversely, fields that are not reseeded will quickly become overrun with weed species with little or no nutritional value.