Feed cost savings in the region of 12p/kg DM will be the
reward for farmers next spring if they take steps during
the late summer to reseed damaged pastures.
Helen Mathieu of British Seed Houses
So says Helen Mathieu of British Seed Houses, who points
out that grazed grass at 5p/kg DM is less than a third
of the cost of most bought in concentrate feeds and that
investment in grass and clover seed will be a small fraction
of the potential savings on offer.
“Paddocks that have been badly poached, or even
flooded, will be in a poor state and may never fully recover,” she
says. “There is certainly going to be a question
mark over the potential of worn out pastures to deliver
the early spring growth required to sustain an early turnout.
Now is the time to act if the plan is to cut feed costs
by keeping the winter as short as possible.
“Soil temperatures are currently quite high and
we still have long daylight hours and plenty of moisture,
so - provided it does not become too wet again - conditions
are just about ideal for reseeding.
“Whilst a full reseed is always going to produce
the best results, overseeding or slot seeding offer cheaper
ways of improving pastures and are appropriate in some
“Whatever your establishment method, be sure to
use the best available varieties for your needs. The latest
Aber perennial ryegrasses from the IGER breeding programme,
including varieties such as AberStar and AberDart, are
amongst the top yielding available, and offer the added
advantages of high sugar and also exceptional early spring
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