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Forage Options Webinar: Planning for Drought

Jun 07, 2021
This is one of a series of

webinar

s that were held to support Brahmas after Co vid and we are curating a number of relevant topics to really start the conversation about the kind of issues farmers are facing right now and as a result. from kovat, so today's session is about

drought

and I must say that just two years ago we did a series of these on the same topic. If you think back to 2013, you know we were in the grip of a

drought

back then and the question really is now. Are we or was it actually just eight weeks and the beginning of the year very dry?
forage options webinar planning for drought
So this afternoon we will cover a number of topics that I hope will be useful if you could turn to the next slide, please. we're really going to focus on this or the technical aspects of how we deal with these erratic weather patterns that we're having as farmers, you know what we need to think about and do differently during our year and To start off, we have Kate, who is our program delivery manager within the grower support team here at the Soil Association, and Sam Lane from Cotswolds Seeds, talking about drought tolerant plantings and different grazing approaches we might want to consider adopting. in the future because it definitely looks like this sort of weather pattern is becoming the new normal for us in the UK at the moment and then after that, who is our resident head of agriculture, forestry and horticulture?
forage options webinar planning for drought

More Interesting Facts About,

forage options webinar planning for drought...

We will talk about the potential for tree fodder, he will also talk about the work he is doing in Eastbrook introducing a new agroforestry company there which I hope you know will also be of interest to everyone listening today and finally we also point to this that Our organic licensees and Sara, midway through this soil association from the producer certification technical team, will talk about some of the potential challenges for organic farmers in terms of the possible need for derogations if this truly turns into a drought rather than a very long. dry period in early summer so that's our running order for today and the stands said we'll be answering questions throughout the process so if you have any questions feel free to put them in the chat and then each speaker we'll answer those questions right away and at the end we hope to have maybe five minutes for other more general questions that anyone might have on any topic, so that's our order for today's session and if you then move up a slide, so I thought I'd frame the general session with some of my personal thoughts, as some of you probably know I am a sheep farmer here in Devon and lamb my flock in January/February with lambs going to slaughter in May/June and I also keep many breeding animals for sale as pedigree breeding animals and for me these last twelve months have probably been one of the most erratic weather-wise I have ever had.
forage options webinar planning for drought
I once knew it started when I tried to establish some purplelegs in early fall and found that first it was too dry and then it quickly got too wet and never stopped raining so I never managed to fully establish the second one. field of his sword and then had to go into the spring, which was really a big problem for me because one of them would have been grazing to use lambs in the early spring and then followed probably a historically wet winter here in the southwest . which happened, I think, about three days before lockdown at the end of March and then we had the most glorious, warm, sunny, windy, dry weather anyone could imagine, which led me at the end of May to look at the fields where my sheep had been grazing, no doubt. in fairly light terrain with relatively shallow soils before turning into completely orange stone.
forage options webinar planning for drought
I've never seen fields that look like they've had a blowtorch taken to them at the end of May, but that's what those fields look like and then surprisingly with the rain we had that started June 3rd and now I have green grass, probably about 3 inches tall, emerging from orange-black rootlets, which for me is an incredible sight to see. I haven't taken a photo of it, yeah I really should because I've never seen anything like it, it also took me being able to make hay in three days at the end of May on its fire after being grazed until mid April which again is the first, so it's been a year of the first and what What I'm learning is that I need to manage the weather conditions instead of the season because in terms of thinking about the seasons it doesn't help me much anymore, so now I'm considering letting go the pastures that he normally would have already done.
I've cut hay for a much later cut because I didn't get enough hay in that first field I cut in late May and I think that's the message I take away from this erratic weather I've had there as a rancher. I have to think about managing what's in front of me instead of thinking so much about the season and secondly having more resources just in case, so for me that means livestock housing and it also means storage docks because it's almost impossible to predict what will happen in the next 12 years. Months are going to take and I hope that we can start to have some of that type of conversation as we move forward over the next 45 minutes or an hour, so I think without further ado I'm going to hand the floor over to the first of our presenters to Kate. and to Sam Lane, I don't know how you want to handle this, but I'll hand it over to Tina, thank you very much, thank you Liz, thank you, yes, so first I'll say a few things about some herding approaches and some sort of broader things and then Sam will talk a little bit more about some kind of specific topics and we'll be there to answer questions and things like that so I'll start dan if you could just move on to the second slide so I just wanted to spend a little bit of time talking about types of fire resistant leis drought and also to think about some of the grazing practices that you might want to move towards if you're not there yet to maximize the forest that you have available and allow those swords to recover if you have little rain, so it really is Try to think about rest and recovery for your leis as well to maximize forest provision, but I wanted to start with some ideas that really lead into what Liz was saying about the current situation and managing livestock in drought conditions obviously. , making sure to plan as best as possible to have plenty of stock and reserves of

forage

.
You know it's obvious or good and say that, but you know clearly that we are. We need to have a lot more reserves for this, you know, the very changeable climate that we're having, but I also wanted you to know, obviously, when we're in periods of this very hot weather, that the importance of the drinking water supply for you know the livestock. It is essential and you cannot underestimate the amount they will drink, particularly the type of use of milking or cow milking. You know they need large supplies of water and I think the reason I really wanted to mention that is when I move on to talk about other grazing approaches in terms of whether it's doing more of a paddock type of grazing system and a type of grazing.
In your grazing areas, you can provide sufficient amounts of water if you are moving livestock a lot and, obviously, the requirements of that, the logistical requirements of providing water and moving water troughs, is something you know. I can't underestimate the time and effort that can take. I also wanted to mention that the deference currently being spoken about down the animal health and welfare pathway is leading them to develop additional grant schemes that will be available for the provision of small animals. Grant scheme four will be available to help farmers purchase capital goods under its small grants scheme and, for the time being, other things such as water trusts, particularly those relating to water and feed troughs. badger trial, are included within those grant schemes, so it's just something to keep in mind that we expect those types of grants to open up in a similar way to the rural productivity grant schemes, so if you're thinking If you need to restock feeders and know the equipment, then you know it's something you should definitely think about just as surely. you know how to keep cattle cool and comfortable to provide shade and Ben, we'll talk.
You know more in depth about providing trees for livestock for fodder, but you also know their importance in providing shade, which you know you can see from In the image on the slide you have all the sheep collectively, you know, gathered around the trees , they're putting themselves in the shade to protect themselves from the sun, so you know you can't underestimate the importance of that for supplying and if they're doing more types of peat systems or they know storage systems and they move the fences around a lot, obviously, you can There are times when you know the animals are in parts of the field where they don't have enough shade and these are all the things you need, you need You're thinking about that, so you know, I wanted to mention walking distances and moving animals.
It's like you're being pressured for fodder and you need to start thinking about reducing the number of animals or drying them out early. You know, looking at the animals in your car, you need to get rid of them sooner rather than later, so you just have less mouths to feed or less demand for those mouths to feed, but then we go ahead and do it. Multi-species collars have been working quite a bit in the many-species days through a number of projects at the Seoul Association through our fabulous farmers program to the farmers program and it's all leading up to the fact that these cordons are much more resistant to climate changes during drought due to the nature of having multiple species and several of them have deep roots and are more resistant to lack of rain, so we are talking about a kind of ballet composed of grasses, legumes and grasses and forbs, and they can have varying proportions and complexity, from a minimum of three species to about thirty species or varieties, and the key with respect to their The type of complexity in the composition of those species is what environment you are dealing with. of classifying them, what is your soil type, what is the climate that you are trying to grow them in and that will have a big effect on the types of species that you are selecting and I'm sure that's something that Sam or maybe Chat some more when you see some specific examples.
Additionally, managing those rooms is key in terms of what type of herding approach you will use. we are going to have and there and there it is necessary that there is no overgrazing because otherwise we simply lose species diversity in terms of the number of functions that you need from your grass or laying will determine the species that are most suitable for you and if you are looking, you know how to increase fertility, so obviously legumes are really important because in terms of drought resistance, you want your species to have deep roots, so the Oxford Lucerne chicory plantain is the one that has these roots very deep mains that can penetrate the ground.
Likewise, I know we're talking about drought today, but waterlogging resistance Timothy clover is very good if you have situations with very wet grasses with respect to persistence, white clover and Timothy, both with very good persistence, either I'm thinking about something like that. animal health elements and they are one of the main, you know, one of the key things that farmers have been thinking about with these herbs or cords, how they can provide a kind of anthem in technological properties and certainly it has been shown than chicory and plantain to do that and also provide you with a high mineral content from the deep roots of chicory and plantain that descend to the lowest depths of the soil, bringing them up and allowing the animals to have a much richer diet in nutrients, so the thing with a herb or a complex mix species is that you just need to think about your situation in the soil, you have to think about what species you want to include, but I just wanted a minute because Sam and I are just talking. before I think some of the farmers who had signed up today had some kind of permanent pasture and they say obviously some of them are reference for planting new crops, but there are certainly things they can do to improve them. learn about permanent pastures and replanting to add more of these species to those crops.
I didn't know Sam, if you wanted to say a few words about that, no, yeah, thanks Kate, that's great. I think it's important to remember that certain people won't do it. being able to start from scratch and reseed, so we're seeing more and more interest in overseeding, especially on existing pastures, trying to utilize some of the benefits thatThe cave lists them as drought resistance, high nutrients, properties implemented to obtain the best, it was often overplanted. I think it's all in the preparation, so the idea of ​​lifting it as hard as possible, probably raking the area a few times, really opens up especially an old oath that might have quite a bit of thatch, trying to make as much room as possible for new seeds. and reducing. the competition from that existing pasture will return, it always does.
They can be shade drills, but be careful of drilling too deep with these tall clover and some of the grasses or maybe broadcast if we get a little bit of moisture and I think. It is important that you can leave the material there for three or four days after sowing. I mean, might they have to stay on top of the old grass for a little bit longer, which is also helpful in that battle to try to reduce the competition as much as possible? but of course the stock has to come out before the new Caesar Mate because they are finicky when those growing tips are just starting to appear but there is a loading gate on that but it's just a brief overview but there are ways to improve . permanent grass if reseeding is not an option perfect thanks um Dan if you can go to the next slide so I just wanted to do that.
I've borrowed a slide here, I have to say from Sarah Morgan of rot, instead of researching, she, him. presented a recent virtual filler

webinar

that we did recently and he talks more specifically about his wild boar postures and this is from Tom's projects which is sort of an architect project in Cornwall and they've been looking at the best ways to manage grazing her. Wild boars lay and this is manifested very clearly through their rotational grazing, it really is the key to prolonging persistence, maintaining species diversity and also increasing

forage

utilization. You really need to have this period of heavier stocking fees so that you really make good use of everything and don't selectively feed them and then move them once there's three to ten centimeters residual, not too tight, and then you can leave that area to recover from any spot to qualify. twenty to thirty days to achieve that really strong regrowth and then you will be able to have a much better persistence of species and also a much better utilization of the forage and I think that in the future you will know how to maximize all the grass that we can grow, preparing especially for the moments when that there will be heavy rain, so you won't get that grace, it will be really very important, so I mean look at some of these examples that she has here, I mean, I think.
You know, some of them are very intensive, like you're kind of like cell grazing and even some of them rotating mob grazing, where you have very small areas where the animals are fenced in and then fenced in, and I think it's really important to remember, as I was talking about at the beginning, that they know the provision of shade and shelter and also the provision of resources, and they know the labor requirements to move fences and ensure that they have enough water, I think it can be done. It should not be underestimated, so when you are thinking about how you are going to manage your grass or collars or collars in general to try to maximize forage through a rotational system, if you can, allow for permanent watering points and manage your grazing around of those permanent points will obviously be much more efficient for you, but it really clearly shows the need to have a higher population density in a smaller area and then remove them allowing a long rest period to bring them in.
Go back and that seems to be, you know, gaining weight of the cattle and also better utilizing those pastures really seems to be the focus that's really important if you can move on to one, so lastly from me to move on to Sam . So, some things to consider when herding multiple species. Ward's is how to manage the length of your rotation. Tell what type of pasture you have. How you can divide your grazing pad to ensure you have enough time. to rest and that you are not grazing is too short, that you have a lot of residue left and think about what the entry and exit covers of your target could be so that you can really maximize the available forest.
I know it's much easier. said that done and yesterday I was talking to one of the dairy farmers I'm working with. Tomorrow I'm going out to look at his grass or his laying and he said, you know, they're pretty well hammered because we just don't have We haven't had the forest so we need to make better use of what we have, but you know everything you can plan to allow yourself. know good residues and plenty of rest time for your grazing. will be the management and what will best suit you in terms of the resource you've worked on regarding shade and water management and the infrastructure you need so you know how you're going to think about measuring your laying covers, which I know is getting becoming you.
You need to plan, you need to think about how much forage you have available and one of the challenges that can arise with these multi-species placements is using a plate meter and therefore grass sticks, you know, measuring and much more. with the eye and experience in terms of understanding how much grass cover you have, but I'll turn it over to Sam and let him talk about some of his examples and then please come back with some questions that would be great, thank you. Sam Oh, before you make that last comment, say: "Oh, just the engagement project I mentioned, they're fabulous farmers, they say I have a learning network in the south west of England very focused on herbs or leis, so yeah anyone is interested in the south west of England and is interested in being part of a sort of network of farmers learning more and attending demonstration events in the south west, you know, follow me, do you get in touch with me because we would love for you to get involved ? that would be great Thanks night, that's me, okay, bottom of one, please Aunt Olivia, thanks Kate, so we don't have much time, so I'm not going to go into too much detail about the reseeding and its fire, how to do it.
Do all that kind of stuff is probably another conversation for another day, but this is not looking back at some photos and to give me some are from 2018 and summer this spring, but they just highlight some of the benefits that we saw. in real life if you want when it was very dry from May to August in 2018 so this is on the Isle of Wight you might as well give up so this is on the Isle of Wight and you can see quite clearly permanent gimli. grass and then reseed the upper part to the left of the more diverse and deep-rooted grasses.
We've been a very dry part of the country that time of year and it kind of speaks for itself. I think it was green when everything else around it was burned brown like we said lava is to do the handling leaving residue and not breathing is too difficult, but you can start to see where these deep rooted species are really moving forward, it's okay, if we can move on, so this is interesting. taken in Wiltshire again in 2018, it was in a very dry sort of silty Riverland, it was a reseed and if you can bear with me, we're going from the left, we've got the pickers I really wanted to show the rooting they do from the start. in the establishment process, so this probably took about four or five weeks after planting at most.
On the left we have the chicory, on the far left I should say, with a very aggressive and strong main root and it was primed without rain and then moving to the right, the Burnet or a deep rooted sweet clover, some lateral roots and a strong taproot in the middle there and I think the others were loose red clover, but you can see that strong rooting goes a long way. More work under the soil they did above on the right side of that photo is a proper screwdriver which is one of the grass species in the mix and you can see how the grass really struggled with a much shallower and less vigorous routing system from the beginning, so Again, the resistance of these deep parts of the grass mixtures, especially in dry conditions with very little rain, really drove, so it's just a really interesting example of how these things can work with dry weather this year we might find that Some of these more diverse mixes are more herb dominant and perhaps the herbs have suffered where they were germinated and just didn't have the dry weather so be prepared for that, it may be some kind of additional work needs to be done to maybe top up the grass elements in the future, okay if we can move on, thanks, this is interesting, it's actually a big workshop at the top of the hill, so again , the soil is lighter, it is a diverse mix, so this spring there will basically be no rain between the ceramic trays.
Five and six weeks ago, as the previous slide showed, the chicory has developed very well, so again I think this spring, if it continues to be dry, we could find that these more diverse mixtures are quite dominant in the forage grasses, especially the deception We know it's an aggressive rooter, so I think the message is don't be surprised if you're looking at what you think might be a field of chicory. I think the other species are probably there, but because chicory has been pushed out and had less competition, it has come out a little bit. Hopefully when we get some moisture back into things things will be back in balance, but I'm wondering if this spring it'll be a girl who really starts to push herself, whether she needs a top dressing or a slight rise just to try to bring these things. let's get back into balance as we move through the next few months, okay, and then okay, I mentioned other

options

for more drought tolerant plants, so this is in fairly sparse crops or weeds in Oxfordshire, the weekend of 2018, but what we have in that photo.
About two-thirds of the photo is samples of a leg of such deep-rooted grass and then the stick in the middle of the photo coming down from the left side is actually a stripping of looser material. This was taken again in July, very little rain and actually the crops are doing very well, but you can see that the grass between those crops is completely burned, but the deep rooting of the jobs we are actually doing very well and still was very productive, keep in mind if we are thinking about Lucerne or testing, they are specific to the soul type, so free-draining alkaline soils are key, but also within the different species, the sound point aims give you a large, bulky cut, perhaps a second smaller custard later, while an alfalfa will keep coming back to you once you've cut it. maybe four or five times a year, so if you're thinking about a more drought-resistant forage crop, think carefully about how often you want to be out there cutting it if you're relying on contractors having to cut and every six weeks, really. , possibly not. be so desirable, I was standing on an alfalfa about a month ago that was reseeded on its cost failure and about three weeks after cutting it it was almost back to my knees, so it will really come back, very strong, very resilient in this dry season, okay? and next is me, thanks, so any questions, we have the additional chats, feel free to email me.
Thanks Sam, yes you have a quit question, it's actually the end of Kate's presentation to ask Mark, will the wards be retained longer? more soil moisture is one centimeter, the optimal value for utilization and humidity. I could defer that to Sam. There is a very good question. My feeling is yes. I was talking to someone in a statement earlier in the week and they were playing with much more of a sort of peat grazing or controlled grazing approach going to higher cover without grazing them too heavily and again in 2018 he said that where everything else is burned and its grass on top was almost crispy if you dig deeper into that blade, there was definitely humidity it was almost like it had rained the night before so I think there's something about leaving a high residue to create a sort of microclimate that it keeps some of that moisture in, whether it's just a morning type. or whatever at ground level and just using whatever moisture we have instead of scraping it down to its bones and just seeing a school completely burned very quickly, it's just that the protective nature is not just providing that shade to the ground ready to stop the evaporation a little more uni, you can see, yes, I'm a nurse, really she could be leading one more residue, she's leaving more plant leaf area and therefore photosynthesis, and then we get the kick off. let the forest grow back instead of removing all the plant's reserves by overgrazing it, yes, absolutely fine, thanks Dan.
I can't seem to understandthe question, so I'll have to trust you to shout them out. as Liz is now gone she says okay cool say wall um if no one has anything else right now and we move on with time as usual and we'll move on to Ben he'll be talking about tree fodder and the supply of trees for livestock fodder Thanks Ben, yes hi yes my background is actually commercial vegetable production but I have been involved in the first reefer container about eight or nine years ago and in addition to my role at the Sun Association , I'm working on Helen Browning, the Eastbrook farmer, and we're putting 200 acres of farm forestry in alongside her dairy system, so most of the young animals are on pretty heavy ground on that part of the farm, so I'm not necessarily proposing to get a lot of details about what we're doing there during this because the time is pretty short, but I'm happy to answer questions that we'll follow up with people on later, so the next slide, please come back. to do it and there are many notice of questions that were submitted in advance and then some of you are interested in the tree father, since you probably already had a copy of our manual that we made in collaboration with others, so if not have it, we can send you a There is a link to that and there are a whole range of benefits to the agricultural system by putting in trees that provide shade and shelter, increased productivity, improved drainage and soil health, potential reduction of pests and diseases, but obviously with the current focus on the thyroid, we're getting a lot more about diet on the next slide and I thought I'd focus on a few key areas and something.
Initially, it's really just how much diet you can potentially get of some browsing trees instead of grass, so even with cattle, I mean, I would probably take the lower end of this percentage and obviously it depends on the breed as well, but potentially and even with cattle you could potentially get the half of their diet from a tree further away in extreme circumstances and obviously sheep and goats, that's even more on the next slide please look at the protein levels inside and Mowbray is one that has been particularly selected as one that has real potential for the tree. forage because it has very high levels of protein, but even we don't know that it compares quite favorably to silage and even grass origin again and I won't rush to add a lot of livestock experts and I'm sure that some of these Ladies from multiple species also have higher protein levels, but again, in terms of knowing if you're substituting or substituting a percentage with tree forage protein, it's probably not something you need to worry about with just the most popular ones. species on the next slide and the other thing I was going to say is that we forward some links when we follow up an email to this, I will forward some links to some of the studies that these things are taken from and that, as a general rule , are the majority of the navigable ones.
Tree species will have higher levels of tannins than grass species, so a higher level of tannins again can really reduce internal parasites and then you also have opportunities to play with how you plant those trees, for example if you have Wet areas that are causing a fluke problem. You may know that you can plant trees strategically to reduce that and then combine it with the tannin levels in the leaves and even within separate species there are additional medicinal benefits. Sometimes salicylic acid in willow, for example, there is anecdotal evidence that cattle will selectively self-medicate by browsing willow if they are not feeling 100% well next, so again looking at the unique micronutrients in most levels of the majority.
Micronutrients are highest in tree leaves and grass, which were the exception of cane in these studies, and some of them are enormously larger, others a little larger, but potentially, by browsing, you could reduce your supplemental feed needs and again, the I think these graphs come from one of the AG Forward briefing papers, if you haven't found them, it's a really helpful resource and I think they've put together a number of studies to show some of these. On the next slide there was a specific question posed by one of the contests about shadows and again, there are several pieces of research on this.
I chose one that was where they were actually potted, so it's not an exact field study, but they looked at the effects of different shades in general. range of thurid species and these results showed that even under moderate shade, which was sort of 45 percent sunlight, all species did well, in fact, better and even better, and at some point in the end of the decade for some of them, so you know. even with 20 percent sunlight you can still have a productive understory and I think one of the ones you know is when we talk to farmers and we say I had this with the Eastbrook stock manager, you know that kind of nervousness, well, you know why.
Would I lose my grass and plant trees? It's not really an option and one of the reasons seems to be that grass actually compensates for the reduced light and makes better use of that sunlight, making it more efficient to use. that sunlight and it's one of the reasons why by planting trees you can end up with an increase in overall productivity, other than animal welfare and that's within that, so I think that's really all there was to it. to cover is pretty short, but I thought I'd leave time for a couple of questions if people had them, and as I say, I'm also very happy to follow up afterwards individually.
We have a comment from a comment from John. Problems since the cows do not. It seems I didn't eat it so well. What species have you tried? In the shadow. He says John, you can usually do it from yards away. He wants the chapter. It was just a notice below. It's not good to do any graffiti yet, but it was just. when they die, but there is a long hedge, he says I can see the grass grows better there, but the problem is the care is net, once we eat it, he said well. I know I was wondering if that happens with agroforestry too.
Good point, I don't know, we have certainly noticed that the cows tend to go for the hedges first and then grab, maybe their grass is too good or it could be the mix of species, I don't know, I am if you tell me, you know, and part of that could also be the timing and how young the leases can be there, you know, you'll certainly notice that in 2018 you didn't just know when the grass was completely brown. the trees are still green and you obviously know that they were eating them then, but you also know that in this very hot climate only the things under the trees are green and everything else is part of it, as it might well be for some. the cattle are fine, maybe they still prefer the grass but if the grass goes they will happily eat the trees and it might just be a matter of what else is available and how hungry they are, yes this could be worth it try different species, yes if you use fuse willow does it have a tendency to spread?
The willow should not so much. I mean, the husband will extend. I mean, we just put some flocks in at East Burt's, these kind of browse blocks where they're actually pretty planted. We're using popular and willow there and the idea is that we'll bring the cattle at certain times to those kind of half-acre and acre blocks, we'll bring them in and we'll cut them effectively by browsing and then we'll take them out again and again. Let them grow for a year or two and then coming back is almost treating it like a separate meadow. If you control the growth, you should have no problem spreading most of something.
There are some. There is a really great book by Steve Gabriel that you can He may have found silver in the past, yes there is an American author, but a lot of the information is still relevant. He's a big fan of the black locust, which spreads if you're not careful. Well, I would say that if you choose the species carefully, certainly willow. and the poplar and mulberry shouldn't spread in particular, what about all the older ones that spread or a dozen, but it's not very appetizing, it's just one of the ones that were less, so if you're looking you probably wouldn't choose older?
Great, obviously, its quick establishment and introducing some nitrogen into the system, but probably not the best thing to explore. You can do it? Sorry I missed the last one on a potting system. Wouldn't you have said that you have the trees tall enough for the animals? I can't reach and then he came and forcefully cut down the trees and the Cuddy family absolutely and I mean Paulo ding, I understand that was the main reason why that system was developed, it was exactly to keep it out of the broth form and you have two

options

: you can cut it and give it to them right away so you know in a really dry summer you can have them in the trees and just cut it off and let them eat it. the soil or you can then create tree hay by cutting it in the summer, then removing it, drying it and feeding it during the winter, which obviously takes more work, but again it was something that wasn't traditionally done and there are a couple of good videos on Making So, I have a question from James Primrose about what the ideal spacing is for true lanes in Gray's pastures, given that they may still be mowed for conservation.
I would say it's probably not an ideal space. I think it will depend on you. Know your stock and the size of your tree and what you're going to do to the trees if you go back a couple of slides down. I can show you yeah, that one, oh yeah, that one, so this is an Eastbrook, so what's effective? We have 27 meter spacing between the rows, but that's the idea that it's not necessarily for optimal growth of the tree, but it's more to do with management, so we may want to go in and harvest this at some point. moment.
We have effectively left a 24 meter strip where we can lower any piece of machinery if we want to come in and harvest and then we have a single strand electric cable on each side so that the cattle graze up there and we have created a 45 meter field. acres and we've created this kind of 17 block series effectively so that they can then graze en masse, but I think you know you need to look if you're growing an oak for wood where it goes. it will be huge in 100 years or you are growing short rotation copies of hazel or willow that will never reach more than three or four metres, you know, it depends, I think it depends on what you want to do with the wood. component how are you going to use it and then you know and the other thing that we have here, you can see that there is a kind of tall tree in the white guard that is very pear tree and then we have planted it. that with willow and older and some of that will be browsed, some of that will be wood chips, so you have this potential to have multiple heights as well, but all of that will affect whether what you're doing you have if you have a sheet when you can pull your narrow or chickens when you are very narrow, you still know how you are going to cut it.
You know that a lot of this can depend on your machinery or the kit you want to put in the middle. so there are a lot of variables depending on what you're going to do with it, which doesn't exactly answer your question. I think we should probably move on now. I talked about people who have asked questions, welcome, so we'll see. If we can get back to them at the end, that's fine, I'm Sarah halfway there. I am a senior technical manager at school association certification. I was asked to quickly go over some of the issues surrounding how to get organic farmers to obtain forage seeds. your seeds, Mitch's mixes and some exceptional rules that could come into play in drought cases and years, so if you want to go to the next slide, scroll down, so first of all, I'll go over each seed and some type. of rules about purchasing each seed If you are an organic farmer, organic rules require that organic seed be used when available, there were some forage species and varieties that are not available as organic, so in those cases you can grant permission to use non-organic seed, it can only be managed where no suitable varieties are available, but there was an exception for forage mixes.
Farmers can check which species and varieties of rainbow. I have put a link on the slide to organic seeds that website where growers basically upload any details of the organic varieties they have so you can check before purchasing from that website, you can move to the next slide please done , really what you'll be interested in here is the forage. mixtures, so there is a provision in the UK because most fodder seeds are sold as part of a mixture, rather than having to obtain permission for each seed notorganic within a mix if you purchase a mix that has a minimum percentage of organic seeds in there. no prior permission is needed, so it is much easier for farms to go to their seed dealers, such as cotton seeds, buy a mix and have to worry about getting permission for any normal Ganic variety or species within the minimum of this year.
In reality, the percentage is only 50%, so it is usually 70%, this has been the case for several years until this year. Every year stakeholders in the fodder seed sector meet and discuss pre-applications which may be over and above in previous years and also how seed production went and there is an outcome of those meetings and their percentage is decided between Defra and the seed producers and the certification bodies to decide what the percentage should be for that year, as I say this year and due to some bad weather in previous years the production was low, the percentage has dropped to 50% for this year, for So any mix you buy that has a minimum of 50% organic seeds is fine, you can buy and use it without prior permission.
You still need to notify your certification body about any normal Ganic as a species and variety at the end of the year, but you don't have to worry about that when you buy it and before using it, and Deborah has indicated that they want the percentage to go back up to 70 % for next year, but obviously we will still go through the process of reviewing what production has been implemented. Sorry, Dan, can you back up a little? That's it, we will move through the shortage, so again, very quickly. There have already been a good number of farmers contacting us with concerns that due to the dry weather they might not have fodder reserves available for the winter, it is obviously very early and we are usually dealing from any farm that contacts the sorts of things they would need to do now if they feel they may be short and, for example, seeing if organic fodder is available.
We know right now that people are holding on to it because they don't know what it is. This will happen this winter, but it's important to keep checking what might be available throughout the season, as Kate said checking stock numbers is really important. Are there any animals that you could perhaps color, read or sell and not have to go through the winter, which could mean that their forage reserves can increase. Beyond that, are there alternatives that can be fed what you would normally feed this type of food? hay or silage? There are other forages available that you could get your hands on and just by looking at your grazing management, any way you can you can put out extra areas and save them for later cutting or manage your grazing to get the most out of the grass you have and hopefully you will know that the rain has arrived and that there will be.
There will be more organic forage available this year, so it is very important that you check regularly to see what is available. Thanks Danny, you can go to the next slide, so if the weather stays dry and there will definitely be a shortage of fodder, you know that If we are not going to have enough fodder to support the livestock that we have to keep on the farm during the winter, then There is a provision in the organic regulations for catastrophic circumstances and there is a serious doubt that drought will result in provisions in the regulations for exceptional cases.
Interestingly, pandemic coded nineteen also fell under these catastrophic circumstances, so there are provisions and disease and public health crises to issue exceptional rules as well and that basically means that if there are catastrophic circumstances, extreme weather conditions that affect forage production , so there is a provision for feeding in very strict circumstances some non-organic foods, ok, thanks Dan, can you choose one? Defra, as the UK competent authority, must discuss and accept each application and any organic farmer who needs to apply. You would actually do this through your certification body and your certification body will tell you what information you will need to submit.
Send for deaf people. Where to make a decision. If you continue to the next, write the necessary information. Name and location of the farm, so all permits are granted by area, so it has to be a parish that Defra grants permission to or an individual farm. There needs to be a summary of what caused the shortage, the type of livestock for which authorization is requested and It may not only be this species and group, but could also just be young livestock, for example, which you're trying to conserve the organic forage you have for the dairy cows, so all those details would have to be there. and obviously what type of non-organic feed you want to use and the effect of the current situation on the ability to feed your livestock through the winter and their well-being, so I would be a little more detailed about the provisions you will put in place to minimize the impact, such as reducing the stock and amounts of forage you have and what you will need to get through the winter.
Okay, next slide please, and just a couple more things that would be necessary if you were to apply for On this permit, you need to detail any attempts made to obtain organic food and that's why it's very important to check throughout. the season when organic forage might be available and if there are other organic alternatives you can feed. there may be someone down the road who can meet some element of their nutritional needs through, I don't know, potatoes or carrots and sometimes we've had people look to their local organic farmers and they might have excess waste that they can go to the provision of livestock and also the other thing is the duration of the authorization requested.
Defra generally likes to limit any authorization to a maximum of three months before the review is necessary and you would have to resubmit an application, so that's really a very Whistlestop tour of the provisions, let's hope the rain continues and the grass continues to grow so you have to use it thank you very much Sara, that's great and, as always, we are very close to the time we have. There are a few minutes left. If anyone has any questions specifically for Sara, Sam, Ben or me about any of the things we've mentioned today, please mute your mic and ask them out or put them in the chat box and we'll be happy to answer them in kind. , we'll follow up on this session with our contact details, so if there's anything you want to look into further or talk to any of us more about that you're numb to, you'll have the So, Dan was there.
I missed dinner. We have a question for Mark. So, Sam, how would you rate the success rate of reseeding results versus overseeding as you described above? Yes, that's a good question. I think realistically reseeding is more. reliable just because you have gotten a level of competency from the existing grass or whatever is in this district, but when you have dry land or very rocky or very steep land and you can't reach it during planting, it is useful, it is about preparation, like I said before, I think you're probably about 50-60% planted, but again, it really depends on the management of the preparation, so that's the absolute key if you don't follow the guidelines with that, I think you're already fixing it. all.
You will be disappointed. Thank you very much Sam. Anything else. Dan Mark was also interested in knowing if what species of grass John had near the hedge were different or different from the rest of the field whose conditions are different. Oh yeah, I guess the problems with them. I mean, the fields tend to be perennial ryegrass, but I don't know, I haven't looked at all of them. Are there other species of weeds I am creeping into the edges and that might explain if this is true? the mark of concern was more about the fact that the grass adjacent to the head was that the cows didn't want to eat that rather than the fact that they wouldn't want to eat the hedge was that their concern said if he planted more trees and had more shade so that they wouldn't eat the grass under the trees rather than the fact that they wouldn't eat the trees, yes, yes, that was a concern with the shade of the trees in the middle of the fields. create the same thing with cows that don't want to eat it, yeah right, so it's less about them actually foraging in the trees and more about the possible impact on the palatial capacity of the grass.
Does anything like that occur to you? that would alter the palatability of the grass, particularly you. I hadn't seen that doesn't mean it doesn't happen. Don't know. That's just because of our experience in safe grazing. You know and yes, but Mark says that I. sometimes I see York fog in the shade and the animals don't have fun with that grass, okay sure, yes, like you say, it could be more of other types of weeds or unwanted species that come into those areas and make it less appetizing, yes, of course, that's fine, thank you. There is room if there are no more particular questions and I would just like to thank everyone, particularly Sam who joined us today and all of you for your questions and the film will be available for others to see.
They couldn't make it today, so hopefully. they will be able to collect all that information as well and as I say, we will share all our details and if you have specific questions that you want to pursue, then you know, get in touch, but thank you very much. So much for its time and let's hope so, after the beautiful weather we have now, it rains more so the grass continues to grow. Thank you so much, goodbye.

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