The YEN is an industry initiative supported by corporate sponsorship and open to all organisations, agronomists and farmers through subscription. Ultimately this is about an industry and science interaction and learning from the bottom up.
There are 3 main parts of GrassYEN
- Yield & quality competition: absolute & % of potential yield for field & plot
- Analysis: Understand yield/quality drivers & constraints
- Networking: idea sharing & end of season conference to develop solutions to yield constraints
Grass YEN has developed a novel model that calculates potential forage yields countrywide. This model uses local weather data and, soil texture and depth to inform resource availability, and then uses the maximum plausible values of resource capture and conversion efficiencies that can be found in the scientific literature to calculate bio-physically possible forage yields.
Using long term historic data over 20 years (from 1980 to 2010) we created a map of long term potential grass yields across the country.
Potential UK grass yields for February to September growing period
Comparing farmer entrant yields on the basis of the percentage of potential yield allows a fairer competition based on farmer skill rather than the natural resources (weather and soil) on any particular farm.
Well managed two-cut systems typically yield, on average of 10-12 t/ha of biomass (dry matter). So it is clear that after the two heaviest cuts of the season, generally, there is a large gap between a potential total grass yield of >24 t/ha and current UK yields. Grass YEN aims to close this innovation gap by identifying and supporting innovators, identifying factors constraining yields and creating a platform for industry-science interactions and synergies.
Find out more
You can read about the project by visiting the Grass YEN website. Alternatively, you can email Katie Evans, Agricultural Consultant to find out more.