The triennial event, which in 2017 welcomed over 11,000 visitors and hosted 279 exhibitors across a 190-acre site at Stoneleigh, will be moving to the prestigious Ragley Estate near Alcester, Warwickshire. “The estate is well-located, within easy reach of the M42, M40 and M5, and is renowned for hosting a wide range of events and concerts, including the Game Fair,” explains Andrew Lazenby, chief executive at the Royal Agricultural Society of England.
“Grassland & Muck has been held at Stoneleigh for over 30 years, and has become an extremely valued event for farmers across the UK,” he adds. “Some 94% of visitors rated their visit in 2017 as good or excellent, with 60% planning to make changes to their business as a result of their visit.”
The HS2 rail development left the event looking for a new site last year, and Lord Hertford – a long-time supporter of RASE – offered the Ragley Estate as an alternative. “It is a perfect fit; as it is only 30 minutes from the old site the Grandstand Stoneleigh Events team can continue to lead the way and develop the event to meet farmers’ needs,” says Mr Lazenby.
The 2020 event – partnered with Yara – will take place on 20-21 May, with the 200-acre site due to be drilled at the end of August 2019 ready for the spring cutting season in 2020. “Farmers will be able to see everything from new grass varieties to the latest grass and muck machinery in real time demonstrations,” says Eva Ross, strategic marketing and PR manager at Yara.
“Grass is a vitally important crop for livestock producers – it is the cheapest feed available, and we are determined to help farmers increase yields and grass quality through making more efficient use of their resources,” she adds. “We are looking forward to working with Ragley Estates and the event team to deliver an excellent grass crop for Grassland 2020.”
The Ragley Estate comprises 4000 acres of arable land alongside a sheep enterprise, butchery, sawmill and 1000 acres of managed broadleaf woodland. “This year has been a particularly difficult one for grass growth,” says farm manager Hamish Stewart. “But we have really seen the differences that reseeding with the latest grass varieties make, both to our sheep performance and following arable crops. We are delighted to host the Grassland & Muck Event and look forward to welcoming farmers and contractors from across the UK.”