On 18th May 2023 Mendel University in Brno (Stanislav Hejduk) and DLF Seed and Science Ltd. (Ivan Houdek) organised a seminar Permanent and Temporary Grasslands as a Source of Forage for Dairy Cows at co-operative farm Nové Město na Moravě. More than 85 attendants visited this event, mostly farmers, students, advisers, forage breeders and company representatives. The chairman of the farm Mr Molva introduced structure of the farm. They manage 3,800 ha of land with 1,500 ha of permanent grasslands, 2,800 of cattle including 950 dairy cows (Fleckvieh) and 20 suckling cows. They also run a biogas plant which is fed by maize silage, cattle slurry and low quality grass silage.
The seminar was supported by the project SUPER-G and the main speaker was professor Piotr Stypinski from Agriculture university in Warszaw (Poland), a member of SUPER-G team. In his lecture Grasslands and perennial forages for dairy cattle in Poland he described the differences in agriculture structure between Czech Republic and Poland and specifics in Polish grassland management (smaller farms, scattered small fields, extensive grassland management aimed more to dairy production, more peat grasslands).
The second lecture Revealed secrets of effective milk production from grasslands and perennial legumes was presented by Aleš Křivka (ACE Agro). He emphasised the importance of following the principles of proper silage making from grassland forage to obtain high-quality fodder for dairy cows (adequate proportion of legumes, timing of cut, fast wilting, proper forage compaction, silos cover).
Josef Diviš, chairman of Holstein cattle breeders’ association presented the last lecture Perennial forages in nutrition of Holstein cattle at Bohemian-Moravian Highland. He reminded that even though silage maize is the basis of the ration on most Czech dairy farms, grasslands forage presents an advantageous feed and, with tightening legislative restrictions (pesticides use restriction, soil erosion measures), it will be necessary to use it more often.
In the afternoon, Stanislav Hejduk briefly presented demonstration trial established at the co-operative farm 31.8.2022. Nineteen grass and legume varieties and 5 mixtures were planted there. Another six mixtures were overseeded into neighbouring grassland.
Before moving to the trial area, the attendants visited the displayed machinery for grassland management and harvest, with an expert interpretation. The practical part of the seminar connected with the introduction of individual species and varieties took place at the end.
Click here to see the full programme.
Watch below some photos of the Forage day: