Call for Expressions of Interest from Dairy Farmers to be Pilot Farms in GrassCheckGB Service project

CIEL and its partners are calling for expressions of interest from Dairy Farmers* to be Pilot Farms for a new service called GrassCheckGB to provide weekly information on pasture growth and quality to farms in England, Scotland & Wales during the main growing season.
 
*We previously offered the opportunity to Beef and Sheep but applications have now closed for these.
 
Pilot farms will be equipped with weather stations and tools to regularly assess environmental conditions, pasture growth, pasture quality and milk production. These data will be used to provide useful management information on a weekly basis across grassland farming areas in Great Britain. Farm specific information will be available to Pilot Farms.
 

Overview

 
GrassCheckGB has developed from a successful project run in Northern Ireland, GrassCheckNI, run by the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) since 1999.  AFBI, together with Rothamsted Research at North Wyke in Devon and CIEL will run the project in England, Wales & Scotland. AHDB, HCC and QMS are providing sponsorship for 25 sheep & beef farms, and CIEL is negotiating support for 25 dairy farms, to establish GrassCheckGB with 50 farms.
 
Background information about the GrassCheckGB service can be found here.
 
Application forms for farms wishing to be Pilot Farms in GrassCheckGB can be downloaded from links given at the bottom of this page.
 

Why take part?

 
Pilot Farms will benefit from:

  • Provision of detailed information on pasture growth and quality for their farm
  • Access to advice from pasture management specialists
  • Membership of a network of Pilot Farms with an online forum and farm walks to exchange ideas and discuss pasture management
  • Equipment to measure weather data, pasture mass & quality, and animal performance will be supplied free of charge

 

What is involved?

 
As a Pilot Farm, participants will commit to:

  • Making weekly assessments of pasture mass across the grazing areas of their farm
  • Fortnightly collection of grass samples for quality analysis
  • Regular milk production data
  • Linking of automated weather stations to farm broadband to facilitate automated data transfer
  • Conducting data transfer for non-automated data streams – simple systems will be detailed where needed
  • Providing access to animal performance data held by third parties (e.g. milk production records held by the company a dairy farm supplies milk to)
  • Engagement with GrassCheckGB discussion groups
  • Participation for 3-5 years in the GrassCheckGB project

 

Frequently asked questions

 
If you have any queries, please take a quick look first at the following Grasscheck GB FAQs as they may help answer your question/s. If not please contact us by telephone on 01904 567716 or email enquiries@cielivestock.co.uk  
 

How can I apply?*

 
To apply to be a Pilot Dairy Farm, please download an application form here.
 
To make an informal enquiry or request additional information about GrassCheckGB, please email enquiries@cielivestock.co.uk, giving your contact details & availability and a brief outline of your question.
 
Please send completed forms by email to enquiries@cielivestock.co.uk or by post to: Attn Mark Young, CIEL, Suite 01 IT Centre, York Science Park, Innovation Way, Heslington, York YO10 5NP
 
Deadline for receipt of applications is 30 November 2018. There remains a possibility this could be extended.
 
*NB In compliance with GDPR principles, data provided will be used to select pilot farms who will provide further data for research purposes