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Charlie Beaty - Improvement and utilisation of permanent pasture to reduce cost of production on UK sheep farms

When she won the NSA Samuel Wharry Memorial Award for the Next Generation in late 2018, Charlie decided to use 2019 and 2020 to travel to New Zealand and write a report on grassland management systems for permanent pasture. 

“The project gave me the opportunity to visit farms that I may not have been able to, had I not had such a good excuse,” she says. From 200-10,000ha (500-24,700-acre), she adds that each farm she visited in New Zealand had certain things they did in certain ways. 

“I visited an organic farm that was incredible. I had no experience of organic agriculture and, if I’m honest, have always been a bit sceptical. But there is so much that conventional agriculture can take from it, particularly in terms of reducing inputs. With anthelmintic resistance being such a pressing issue, we really should be taking more notice of certain organic practices.

“If I could give myself any advice from the beginning, it would be to not try to fit too much into my trip,“ says Charlie. “You are much better taking plenty of good knowledge and experience away from a few visits, rather than hundreds of visits where you struggle to take it all in. It’s about quality, not quantity."

Download Charlie's final report here.