Reciprocal grazing arrangements

toquark

Member
Does anyone have any?

Thinking of entering one with the neighbour whereby he grazes some sucklers on our ground during summer and we get use of his for wintering sheep.

Ideally it would be a cost neutral arrangement and no money would change hands, obviously depending on numbers grazed etc.

Does anyone on here have anything similar going on and have they run into any problems?
 
Probably need to define the parameters in this a little more to give an answer.
How many cows and how long for in the summer?
How many sheep and how long for in the winter?

If the cows came on in May and left at the end of October then you calculate the cost, say £4.00 per week. Sheep 1st November to 1st March say 50p per week.
 
Location
Ceredigion
Probably need to define the parameters in this a little more to give an answer.
How many cows and how long for in the summer?
How many sheep and how long for in the winter?

If the cows came on in May and left at the end of October then you calculate the cost, say £4.00 per week. Sheep 1st November to 1st March say 50p per week.
But that's 8 sheep to one cow
 
Location
Ceredigion
What one sheep eats as short "quality" grazing in winter would feed a calf in the spring or a cow in the summer if it wasn't grazed.
Both parties need to win in a reciprocal agreement... or at least they need to feel like they're winning out of it
He says Sucklers maybe 5 but dont count the calves if they are small , big calves one third of a cow
 

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
He says Sucklers maybe 5 but dont count the calves if they are small , big calves one third of a cow
Yes, at the same time of year that might work out roughly equivalent.

The way I look at it with our grazing business, not having sheep on over winter will give us a whole lot more carrying capacity in spring and summer, eg from 4.5hd/ha to around 6- 6.2 in the spring

with sheep on, we'd be back a lot in spring and even further back in summer

But that's in our context as graziers, which is a bit different, eg whatever makes the most $$$ per kg of feed down the throat, not f**king about with someone's sheep over winter is a winner... the real point is that the OP and neighbour both have a deal they're happy with, without trying to compare concrete mixers to confetti
 
Location
Ceredigion
Yes, at the same time of year that might work out roughly equivalent.

The way I look at it with our grazing business, not having sheep on over winter will give us a whole lot more carrying capacity in spring and summer, eg from 4.5hd/ha to around 6- 6.2 in the spring

with sheep on, we'd be back a lot in spring and even further back in summer

But that's in our context as graziers, which is a bit different, eg whatever makes the most $$$ per kg of feed down the throat, not fudgeing about with someone's sheep over winter is a winner... the real point is that the OP and neighbour both have a deal they're happy with, without trying to compare concrete mixers to confetti
No years the same here but
You can't leave cattle out late on pastures here so sheep come in to clean up pastures , the golden hoof , improves pastures no end , if kept on much after the 1st of March they do reduce spring growth , but if we get a cold late spring then not , on the hay pastures the delayed growth is a good thing and they take out winter growth that can die of and spoil the hay
 

toquark

Member
Probably need to define the parameters in this a little more to give an answer.
How many cows and how long for in the summer?
How many sheep and how long for in the winter?

If the cows came on in May and left at the end of October then you calculate the cost, say £4.00 per week. Sheep 1st November to 1st March say 50p per week.
We haven’t really got round to talking numbers and figures yet, but whatever would be agreed would be an equivalent value for each party, eg one cow and young calf of his for say £5/wk would be equivalent to 10 of our sheep for a week in winter.

The aim would be for my sheep to help tighten and clean up his pasture from around Dec to Feb and his cattle to do the same for me from around June to August.
 

toquark

Member
No years the same here but
You can't leave cattle out late on pastures here so sheep come in to clean up pastures , the golden hoof , improves pastures no end , if kept on much after the 1st of March they do reduce spring growth , but if we get a cold late spring then not , on the hay pastures the delayed growth is a good thing and they take out winter growth that can die of and spoil the hay
That would be the aim here. My ground could do with some cattle on it through the summer and his needs tidying up ahead of the growing season. He had sheep until a few years ago, and he says he’s missing their grazing in the winter. Im just trying to work out whether we could do it simply without bothering the accountants or whether we just invoice each other as you normally would.
 
Location
Ceredigion
Just two points about cattle , they can wreck fences if they are unruly and they need careful management or they can poach pastures
So the ideal on my farm , would be cattle come 1st of May and Leave end of September and hope we don't get a very wet Summer, wetter fields , then cut and sheep graze
 
Last edited:

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
No years the same here but
You can't leave cattle out late on pastures here so sheep come in to clean up pastures , the golden hoof , improves pastures no end , if kept on much after the 1st of March they do reduce spring growth , but if we get a cold late spring then not , on the hay pastures the delayed growth is a good thing and they take out winter growth that can die of and spoil the hay
Yeah, similar story here TBH.
Cows and sheep pay a whole lot better if you aren't throwing money at feeding them/cleaning up their messes.
Hence there's really no point sending each other invoices for services that benefit both parties?
 
Location
Ceredigion
Yeah, similar story here TBH.
Cows and sheep pay a whole lot better if you aren't throwing money at feeding them/cleaning up their messes.
Hence there's really no point sending each other invoices for services that benefit both parties?
I remember we grazed some cattle next door with a Friend of ours , payed him a good rent , all went fine until he turned up one day with a big bill for water he said they had drank , no mention at the start , maybe dad was a bit hard can't remember but was never the same with him after
 

Agrivator

Member
Does anyone have any?

Thinking of entering one with the neighbour whereby he grazes some sucklers on our ground during summer and we get use of his for wintering sheep.

Ideally it would be a cost neutral arrangement and no money would change hands, obviously depending on numbers grazed etc.

Does anyone on here have anything similar going on and have they run into any problems?

An excellent idea, so long as you don't exchange money, and each of you has a ''give and take'' outlook.

I keep encouraging @neilo to do the same, but will he listen.
 

puppet

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
sw scotland
No years the same here but
You can't leave cattle out late on pastures here so sheep come in to clean up pastures , the golden hoof , improves pastures no end , if kept on much after the 1st of March they do reduce spring growth , but if we get a cold late spring then not , on the hay pastures the delayed growth is a good thing and they take out winter growth that can die of and spoil the hay
Correct. That is why the dairy guys like hill sheep over-wintering. Good income, clean up the dead stuff and if away by 1st March will make very little difference to yields as little growth around here before that.
I would agree costs then sort the balance to keep both happy. Goverment has 7 sheep to an adult bovine for stocking rates so £4 per week for a cow and calf sounds right.
 

LIVE - DEFRA SFI Janet Hughes “ask me anything” 19:00-20:00 20th September (Today)

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Hello, I’m Janet Hughes. I’m the Programme Director for the Future Farming and Countryside Programme in Defra – the programme that’s phasing out the Common Agricultural Policy and introducing new schemes and services for farmers.



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