This video was filmed during data collection in June and July 2020.
PhD student, Vicky Bowskill, demonstrates how she is sampling floodplain meadow hay to investigate the way nutritional content changes, depending on when it is harvested. This can help land managers to maintain healthy meadows, whilst also providing a balanced diet for pasture-fed livestock.
Haymaking is critical to our heritage hay meadows, but is later really better?
First, lay out a 1 metre square quadrat and record the percentage cover of species.
Then grab your clippers….and get trimming.
Now you have a nice pile of green hay.
Weigh it to find the yield per square metre
Then take a random sub-sample
These will be dried and ground for analysis…but first they are sorted into grasses and broad-leaved herbs.
Doing this throughout the summer will show how the nutrients in meadow hay changes, depending on when it is harvested…
…and help farmers to maintain healthy meadows, whilst also providing a balanced diet for their pasture-fed livestock.