Launch of The Great Grazing Guide

January 6, 2023

The Prince’s Countryside Fund (PCF) and McDonald’s UK & Ireland have today (6th January) launched their new publication, The Great Grazing Guide at the Oxford Farming Conference. Written by pasture experts Precision Grazing, The Great Grazing Guide follows on from A-Zero: A farmer’s guide to breaking free from environmental jargon which was published in 2021, and forms part of the PCF and McDonald’s wider support for UK farming families.

Keith Halstead, Executive Director of The Prince’s Countryside Fund, said: “The Prince’s Countryside Fund has produced The Great Grazing Guide in response to requests from farmers participating in our resilience programmes who expressed real concerns at the huge increase in their input costs. Not only will the ideas contained in this guide help save money at this very difficult time, but they will also enable farmers to work with nature on their farm by focusing on the importance of healthy soil.

“The Great Grazing Guide is yet a further expression of our partnership with McDonald’s UK & Ireland which is based on practical action that farming families can take to ensure their farm enterprise embraces change to secure their future. I am grateful to McDonald’s UK & Ireland for their continuing commitment and support of The Prince’s Countryside Fund’s work, and to Precision Grazing for helping to create this accessible guide.”

The Great Grazing Guide looks at a number of activities and techniques that farmers can adopt to help save money, including:

  • How healthy soil can improve pasture and forage, and how famer’s can improve their soil
  • How to make the most of farmyard manure and slurry to improve grazing and save money on concentrate feed, and how to most effectively use artificial fertiliser
  • How to get the most out of pasture, through the use of herbal leys and techniques such as rotational grazing

The publication of the guide is in response to the high increase in input costs, notably fertiliser prices, that the UK farming industry has experienced over the past year, and looks at a range of techniques and methods, including those from regenerative and grazing management techniques.

British farmers play a huge part in both food security and looking after the environment, helping society to reverse the impact of the climate emergency. This guide outlines how farmers can work with nature and their on farm assets to save money by reducing their use of and reliance on artificial fertiliser and concentrate feed, whilst maintaining or increasing the productivity of their farm.

Alistair Macrow, CEO McDonald’s UK and Ireland, said: “We’re delighted to be supporting The Prince’s Countryside Fund to launch this guide that will help farmers during this challenging time. We hope that the practical actions in this guide will help to increase resilience in the farming community and support the transition to a low carbon future. McDonald’s is committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2040 – including across our supply chain – and this guide is a small, but important step on that journey.”

The Great Grazing Guide features case studies from British farms who have already made changes to their fertiliser and feed use, and checklists to help farmers plan activities that might work on their farm in the short, medium, and long term to save money, and maintain or increase productivity. The advice offers a way for family farms to address the rising costs of fertiliser and feed and reducing their inputs, through more sustainable farming practices.

This guide is the latest initiative from McDonald’s and The Prince’s Countryside Fund three-year partnership. Since 2020, the partnership has continued to help to support farmers to adapt to change and make their businesses sustainable for the future, through a series of ‘Ready for Change’ workshops, webinars, and events which have helped over 200 livestock farmers make informed decisions about change management. This supports McDonald’s goal of supporting resilient livelihoods and sustainable outcomes through its Farm Forward Programme.

Read The Great Grazing Guide