Next Course – 21-24th February 2023, Exeter
Recent input cost inflation combined with the planned reduction in direct subsidies means the viability of many farm businesses is under threat. Farmers who manage their grazing well can significantly reduce their use of purchased feed, nitrogen fertiliser and labour whilst maintaining productivity leading to a more profitable and resilient business.
Now is the time to ask: “Are we running a business or subsidising a hobby”?
Since 2016 we have helped 100s of businesses successfully improve their grazing management and we have learnt a lot along the way. This course includes our key lessons and is designed to fast-track your success and your journey to achieve a profitable, resilient and enjoyable farming business.
We believe that taking a “forage first” approach is essential for every commercial livestock farming business. Whilst many farmers have started on this journey, perhaps by changing genetics, few have properly committed to it, often not knowing where to start. or for fear of getting it wrong.
This course is designed to change that! It will give you an action plan to implement grazing management across the business with a programme of technical and practical skills providing the confidence to make changes at home.
- Evaluate your current livestock enterprises and calculate the “optimal” stocking rate for your farm.
- Learn how to feed budget which will help to guide your decision-making during the year.
- Understand how to simplify your livestock enterprises without compromising on performance.
- Design grazing systems for your farm and get help with solving challenges like access to water.
- Learn the essential practical skills of pasture measurement, grazing management, electric fencing and livestock management to successfully implement this approach on your farm.
- Create a plan to implement changes and see benefits personally and financially within the first 6 months.
Who’s it for?
Farmers or farm workers (Beef &/or Sheep) who want to improve their business profitability and resilience. Anyone attending the course should have the authority and willingness to make changes in their business.
Each business can bring up to 2 people and we encourage both partners to attend or if farming with family at least one of each generation.
What are the non-negotiables in a “pasture first” business? Learn what is driving profitability in livestock enterprises and understand how you can influence it. Review your livestock enterprises and identify how effectively you are converting pasture/forage into cash.
- Discuss use of inputs and machinery, when and where are they justified?
- Review your enterprises, calculate your current and potential gross margins
- Create a plan for change with actions and key dates.
- Identify KPIs to monitor performance.
Often people think grazing management will create more work, as with any change there are new skills to learn but setting objectives for your work and lifestyle will ensure you make the right changes and “make the business work for you”.
- Hear from other farmers about how they changed their businesses.
- Set goals for you and your business.
- Learn tools to communicate why change is needed and share your vision effectively.
- Discuss strategies to organise and prioritise your work, reduce stress and improve mental health.
Grazing System Design & Implementation
Well-managed pasture provides high livestock performance at the lowest cost. Learn how to design an effective, low cost and low labour grazing system to suit your farm.
- Understand the principles of grazing management and how to apply them to your farm.
- Learn how to simplify your livestock enterprises and reduce the number of management groups
- Identify the optimal paddock size and number to suit your animals and pasture
- Design grazing systems for your farm using digital mapping.
- Design livestock water systems
- Get hands-on with electric fencing materials and mobile water equipment
- Learn how to efficiently erect permanent and temporary fences.
- Use our templates to quickly work out the materials required to create new paddocks.
Grazing management and pasture measurement underpin profitable livestock enterprises. Gain hands-on knowledge of how to manage pasture giving you the confidence to implement at home.
- Learn about a range of grazing techniques including rotational grazing and mob grazing.
- Discuss the use of tools such as standing hay and differed pasture
- Learn essential practical skills to manage your grazing including:
- Pasture measurement using a plate meter.
- Grazing management using a pasture wedge (Agrinet software).
- Working with livestock in grazing systems.
The course will be run by the Precision Grazing team alongside a chosen experienced grassland manager who will host the practical, on-farm side of the meetings.
How is it Run?
It is classroom and farm-based. The sessions are a mixture of presentations, discussions and workshops. You will be working by yourself as well as with the other businesses with one-to-one support from the PG team. You may also be expected to complete some tasks in your own time.
|10am – Arrival & Introductions|
People & Business – Reviewing your current system
6pm – Evening Meal & Group Social (Optional)
|9.30am-1pm – People & Business – Planning for change|
Farm Visit – Electric Fencing & Water Systems (Practical)
|9.30am – Farm Visit – Grazing Management|
6.00pm – Evening Meal & Group Social
|9.30am – Grazing System Design|
2pm Course Review & Presentations
What’s the Cost?
The purpose of this is to kick-start change and fast-track success in your business. We are confident that this course will provide a significant return (+10x) on your investment in the first year if you implement what you learn.
4-day course including:
- Course materials (printed and digital)
- Farm visits and guest speakers
- all lunches and refreshments (evening meals and drinks not included)
Special Offer for our first course- only £950+VAT based on 1 person*.
(limited to 20 businesses, 2nd person from the same business is an additional £150+VAT).
This is payable as £500+VAT at booking and the remainder post-course (by end of March).
*Normal price £1250+VAT
If you wish to stay at the conference venue a double or twin room is about £75/night B&B. Once your place on the course is confirmed we will share booking details. Alternatively, other local accommodation options are available. Please wait until your place on the course is confirmed before booking.
Apply to Attend
To apply for the course please complete this short form. We will be offering the course in various locations across England so if you can not make these dates or the location is not suitable please register your interest and we will be in touch. Alternatively if you have a group of farmers you think the course would benefit get in touch directly and we can arrange a bespoke offer.
If you have any questions, please contact us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call James between 10am-4pm, Mon to Thursday on 07534 930484.
To help you implement change, keep up the momentum and make good decisions during the grazing season we recommend all businesses who complete the course join one of our regional discussion groups. This enables you to access our support and receive additional training via monthly meetings at a fraction of the cost. It also offers accountability as all members will be expected to measure pasture (at least monthly and share their personal and business objectives.