Seen firstly as a good alternative break crop to oilseed rape – which has become harder to establish due to the difficulties in controlling flea beetle – maize is now a valuable forage for their beef finishing enterprise as well as an additional cash crop sold to neighbouring dairy and goat farms.
Catch & Forage Crops
Know what soil reserves you have in the ground, get your fertiliser on early and use little and often applications, is the advice CF Fertilisers' arable agronomist Allison Grundy has for growers planning spring crops.
Read our top tips on how to get the most from your root seed and best methods for root seed utilisation.
Grass and silage remain the best value feeds available to UK livestock farmers, despite the increasing fertiliser prices. Producing high-quality, homegrown forage is cost-effective and plays a crucial role in herd and flock performance; but planning is essential to get these results.
The importance of upholding soil health and sustaining its productivity for the future is essential. No matter what the enterprise, we are reliant on soil for all production, either to produce our crops or forage to feed livestock. Rising input costs have led to a greater emphasis being placed on the importance of fertile soils with good structure. A single crop can deplete soils of up to 5% of soil organic matter each year which can have a detrimental effect on soil health in the long term if organic matter is not replenished. Therefore, it is vital that measures are taken to conserve soil, which some may say is our most valuable resource. There are numerous ways
This is our quick guide to the characteristics of the different grasses used in our mixes.
Studying your silage clamp and looking at key indicators can benefit the quality of your silage at feed-out. This short video from Ecosyl highlights some of the top tips for assessing your clamp to help maximise the nutritional value of your silage.
Ecosyl additives such as Ecocool have been shown to typically reduce the fermentation losses by half and also to improve aerobic stability, keeping the silage cooler for longer. In addition, the Ecosyl range has a considerable weight of evidence from independent feeding trials which demonstrate improved animal performance for dairy, beef and sheep.
Maize is a crop which responds well to careful management and it is also influenced by weather conditions during the entire growing season, explains Dr Simon Pope, Crop Protection Manager for Wynnstay.
A key factor in producing quality forage is a carefully planned reseeding programme revolving around the core principle that you should aim to reseed 15% of the farm each year.
It is estimated that reseeding costs £250/ acre, making it a major investment, which requires attention to detail throughout the process. The starting point to this is selecting the right grass seed mixture which will suit your end requirements.