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THE application window for the Prosper from Pasture Programme is now open and will be open between 12 pm,  (Nov 6) and 12 pm, (Dec 9).

It is recognised that the farm area is the first physical limiting factor on potential business output. The next limit it the business owner’s ability to manage that land.

Permanent pasture grassland is dominant across Wales, it accounts for more than 75% of the total farmed area. Good quality grazed grass and forage can help farmers improve milk yields and live weight gains.

Prosper from Pasture is a short programme with 3 levels, Entry, Intermediate and Advanced, that will develop your knowledge, skills, and confidence in grassland management. It’s possible to progress from one level to the next after successfully completing a level.

Farmers of all knowledge levels are given the opportunity to make changes to their businesses which may lead to improved profitability and sustainability of their farming systems. Individuals are invited to determine what level best suits them and their business.

Applicants are first of all invited to consider the entry-level programme which is aimed towards farmers who are considering what changes they could make to their business to increase profitability.

The Prosper from Pasture entry level is a series of five one-day events, each targeted at a specific introductory aspect of grassland utilisation: Understanding your business, soil, and sustainable systems, grass, herbs and forage crops, grazing management for a profitable business, animal health and genetics.

Patrick Loxdale, an entry-level member said: “The Prosper from Pasture programme has been an absolute eye-opener. It has been well organised and very well runs. The quality of the presentations and their delivery has been spot on, and the subject matter relevant and really interesting”

Successful participants of the entry-level can progress to Intermediate level, called Master Grass.

Master Grass is a residential two-day programme for beef, sheep or dairy farmers who are keen to develop their understanding of grassland management and learn about the latest knowledge and techniques available. The level also offers a chance for likeminded farmers to meet and share ideas on developing their businesses.

Successful participants of the Intermediate level who apply the knowledge gained to their own business can progress to apply to be a member of a Prosper from Pasture advanced level group.

Seven regional advanced level groups have been held throughout Wales, which were facilitated and chaired by Precision Grazing consultants.

Meetings were held on the farms of members where the focus on key topics was seasonal and data-driven, with each member required to provide their data on grass growth, average grass cover, grass demand, and topic-related data to the group in order to benchmark and to facilitate discussions on best practice.

Rhidian Glyn, Advanced Group Member said:
“Support provided through the Prosper from Pasture programme has given me the confidence to make critical business decisions on stocking rate and winter feed budgets that have had a positive impact on farm efficiency”

Each participant will need to confirm that their business has a valid (max 5 years old) Nutrient Management Plan.

The window will be OPEN until 12 pm (Dec 9).

To express an interest, visit
http://www.farmingconnect.gov.wales/ and fill in the application or expression of interest form, or call the Farming Connect Service Centre: 08456 000 813

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