Planning winter feed options for sheep

A series of workshops to help sheep farmers reduce the impact of this year’s challenging weather conditions on the 2019 lamb crop are set to be held by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) Beef and Lamb.

AHDB, who are partnering with Teagasc for the workshops, will run five workshops that will focus on planning winter feed budgets, with discussion around the options for farmers facing winter feed deficits.

Attendees will also hear from Teagasc’s sheep systems researcher, Dr. Phil Creighton, who will be discussing how to set up grazing rotations during the winter to ensure fields are ready for the spring.

Commenting on the events, Dr. Creighton said: “Given the challenging conditions experienced during 2018, it will be more important than ever this autumn to try and build grass covers and put plans in place to have adequate grass available for the flock in spring.

“The temptation to keep sheep at grass for as long as possible, or to re-graze closed fields in December and January, will be there, especially this year where winter feed reserves may be low.

Grass is worth much more in the spring to the freshly lambed ewe than in mid-pregnancy.

Dr. Liz Genever, AHDB senior sheep scientist, will also be on hand for a practical session which demonstrates how farmers can understand their feed demand and supply, and develop a winter feed budget.

The events will be held on the following dates:
  • October 1 – Worcester;
  • October 2 – Somerset;
  • October 3 – Bedfordshire;
  • October 4 – Leek;
  • October 5 – Morpeth.

The events are free and places will be available on a first come, first served basis.

To find out more about the events and to book your place, visit the website or call the knowledge exchange events team on: 01904-771-212.