Thank you for your interest in becoming a GrassCheckGB Pilot Farmer.

Background

Grassland agriculture underpins the ruminant livestock sectors in the United Kingdom. The potential for high levels of grass production and utilisation give British agriculture a key competitive advantage against many other livestock production regions across the globe. However, there is significant scope to improve grassland productivity in the UK from the current estimated production levels of 7.5t DM/ha/yr and 4.7t DM/ha/yr on dairy and beef farms, respectively. 

Improving grassland management efficiency is a key driver of profitability on beef, sheep and dairy farms across the UK, with each additional 1 tonne DM utilised per hectare worth £334 and £204 per annum to dairy and beef farms, respectively. To assist farmers in making the most of this valuable feedstuff, levy bodies AHDB, HCC and QMS are working with industry organisation CIEL and researchers at AFBI and Rothamsted Research to establish a network of up to 50 grass monitor farms across England, Scotland and Wales. 

The project aims to assist farmers in improving both grass growth and utilisation by providing information on grass growth, grass quality and weather conditions from 50 locations across GB to assist farmers in making grassland management decisions and increase output from grass.  

What we are looking for? 

GrassCheckGB is now heading towards its third season! We are looking to recruit one Beef and/or Sheep farm to fill a vacancy within the project for 2021. This place is funded by AHDB Beef & Lamb and therefore we can only consider applications from English farms at this time. 

We are particularly seeking farmers which have an active interest in grassland management. Farmers will be expected to measure their grazing platform on a weekly basis throughout the grazing season. Grass measurements will be fed into an online management platform (AgriNet) along with stock numbers, milk/meat sales and details of meal and silage fed.

Every fortnight each farm will submit grass samples for analysis.  This will be done on a rotating basis with half the farms submitting samples one week and the other half submitting on the following week.

Each farm will be equipped with an automatic weather station which will record temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction, solar radiation and soil moisture.  Information will be transmitted wirelessly from the monitoring equipment to a IP logger which will need to be plugged into the farm’s broadband router. 

From time to time, farms will be featured in press and media activity.  Pilot farmers will be encouraged to use social media to promote their involvement in the study and their experiences measuring and managing grass. 

What you will get from participating in the project?

The monitor farms involved in the process will have:

  • Access to the following equipment:
  • Automatic weather stations recording detailed data every 30 minutes
  • Soil moisture and temperature probes
  • Electronic Plate-meters
  • Animal weighing platforms (beef farms only) 
  • AgriNet annual subscription
  • Fortnightly grass analysis 
  • Farm specific information on grassland productivity and utilisation, nutrient efficiency, performance of livestock from grass
  • Opportunity to discuss grass management challenges with farmers and researchers on a regular basis

 Next Steps

If you wish to apply, download an application form from the grasscheckgb.co.uk website and return via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 Deadline

Applications forms must arrive no later than midnight on Sunday 29th November 2020.

NOTE *2021 season recruitment: We are looking to bring onboard one farm to fill an AHDB Beef&Lamb funded place in this project, therefore we can only consider applications from Beef and/or Sheep enterprises located in England.

Application Form

Download the Application Form Here GrassCheck GB Application 2021