Cutting edge technologies are being deployed on 35 farms across Northern Ireland to expand the scope and coverage of GrassCheck for 2017.
Data collected from these farms will be used to provide farmers with up-to-date information on grass growing conditions and grass quality in their locality to help them make the most of this valuable resource.
AgriSearch and AFBI have recruited dairy, beef and sheep pilot farmers reflecting a range of farm systems and land types.
Each of the pilot farmers have been equipped with the latest GPS rising plate-meters to measure grass covers. On-farm grass growth and quality will be measured on a weekly and fortnightly basis, respectively.
In addition, 24 weather stations are being deployed on these pilot farms to record a wide range of meteorological data across Northern Ireland.
Historically GrassCheck has been based on grass plot data. This core data collection will be retained.
GrassCheck is supported by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) and the Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock (CIEL).