Reseeding Grass Could Deliver Ten-fold Return on Investment

Cumbrian farmers could be missing out on thousands of pounds worth of production if they rule out reseeding grass leys - that’s the message Barenbrug UK will take to Agri Expo 2018 on Friday 2 November at Borderway, Carlisle.

The agricultural grass team at Barenbrug has calculated that farmers that reseed grass leys can expect a ten-fold return on investment as a minimum - depending on the focus of their farm.

Using RGCL figures, Barenbrug estimates that reseeding can enable farmers to achieve grass yields of around 11.63 t DM/ha on a two cut silage system. That’s enough grass to generate 122,220 MJ of energy or the equivalent of:

  • 25,150 litres of milk worth 27.7p/l = £6966

  • 2050kg lamb worth 4.05.5p/kg = £8310

  • 2400kg beef worth £349.2p/kg = £8380.


With the average reseed costing around £692 per hectare, that’s a huge return on investment. Commenting, Mhairi Dawson, Research & Development Manager at Barenbrug UK, said:
“Future proofing your forage by investing in a reseed is a great way to improve productivity and resilience, and counter the weather-related problems we’ve seen over the past eighteen months. It can be difficult to comprehend the value of a reseed, until you see the impact it can have on production levels - particularly when growing conditions are unfavourable.”

Continuing she said:
“We’ve seen record numbers of farmers reseeding this autumn with much of the UK sowing 30% more seed than normal. As well as short-term leys, we’ve seen a massive upsurge in upland / hill ground reseeding with upland mixture sales in England and Wales around 40% higher than normal. Given the weather we’ve had this past year, these numbers are understandable. But our message to farmers is that reseeding should be a regular occurrence - not just something you do after a bad season, when you want to gain back some ground. Even using 50% independent trial data, our numbers show that the value of reseeding is worth over 500% more than the cost.”

Based on an autumn sowing of BarForage Combi, and using 50% independent trial data, Barenbrug has calculated that farmers could expect a potential grass yield of 5.82t DM/ha and an energy yield of 66,660 MJ. That amounts to:

  • 12,575 litres of milk worth 27.7p/l = £3483

  • 1025kg of lamb worth 405.4p/kg = £4155

  • 1200kg of beef worth 349.2p/kg = £4190.

At Agri Expo, Barenbrug will also be promoting the second edition of its Good Grass Guide. Designed to help farmers thinking about a reseed, the recently updated guide includes information about reseeding versus overseeding; seed selection and managing new swards. There are pages dedicated to soil nutrition and structure; and why investing in grass is important. There are also photographs and facts and figures about productive grass species, common weeds, diseases and pests. At the back of the guide there is also space for farmers to note down observations about individual fields and pastures. Farmers visiting Agri Expo can pick up a copy of the guide from the Barenbrug stand or register to receive a copy.


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