1. Farmers, growers, processors and industry representatives are being asked for their views from 31 August for 10 weeks on the role of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).

    The AHDB is a UK statutory levy board, funded by farmers, growers and others in the supply chain. As we leave the EU, there is an opportunity to ensure that the sectors that the AHDB covers are as competitive as possible. This review will look at the AHDB’s purpose and priorities, its strengths and where improvements need to be made.

    This is a joint 10-week exercise covering England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The request for views will close on 9 November.

    click here to have your say...


    go straight to Defra to fill out the survey here....
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Countryside Seeds Ltd

Discussion in 'Agricultural Company Pages' started by Chris F, Jan 9, 2015.

Countryside Seeds Ltd
  1. Great In Grass

    Spring Under–Sowing Option Will Boost Forage Production

    Under–sowing spring cereals with a perennial ryegrass ley has the potential to increase production whilst cutting establishment costs, advises Germinal’s William Fleming.

    Livestock producers drilling spring cereals for wholecrop or grain could gain significantly by under–sowing crops with a following grass ley.

    Along with fully cashing in on the land’s production potential by minimising any barren period, the practice also takes time pressure off post–harvest when the ley would otherwise be established.

    “Under–sowing this spring could be particularly important to producers who may be concerned about a shortage of silage or forage stocks,” he adds.

    Getting it into the ground

    As with any reseeding or establishment of a new crop, soil tests should be done in good time, with attention paid to soil fertility, pH and structure. According to William, for best establishment, cereals must be planted first – at a slightly lower rate – and then grass seed is drilled or broadcasted into the surface. Cereals and grass seed can both be drilled the same day, but not at the same pass.

    Ideally, the field will be ploughed to prepare the seedbed for the cereal crop and drilled at 40 to 50kgs/acre (100 to 120kg/ha), 2.5 to 4cm deep, and then rolled to prepare a fine and firm seed bed for the grass ley. Grass should then be broadcast or drilled, no deeper than 1cm.


    For farms in areas where wet harvest conditions may be a concern, William says an under–sowing system works best when the cereal crop is taken as a wholecrop when grain is at the soft, cheesy stage.

    “This can be very successful, producing 6 to 8tDM/ha, and also gets the crop removed early on when field conditions are more likely to be suitable,” he explains.

    If crops are to be harvested by combine for a hard grain, headers need to be set higher, at least 2.5cm above the top of the grass to prevent combine clogging. Make sure the cereal crop isn’t creating too much shade for the grass ley below and if necessary be prepared to harvest earlier as a wholecrop silage.

    Early autumn grazing or late silage cut

    With the ley established under the cereal crop, new grass will be available for a late silage cut by the early autumn, boosting forage stocks for the following winter. Alternatively, it might be grazed with sheep or youngstock, to encourage the ley to tiller out and be in prime condition for the following spring. Always remember the objective is to get a new grass ley established and the priority is the quality and density of the sward, so be prepared to take the cereal early if necessary to avoid damage to the ley below.
  2. Great In Grass

    Germinal UK Agriculture team Spring Giveaway Terms and Conditions.

    Germinal’s Agriculture team in the United Kingdom invite Twitter users to enter a competition opening on Friday 4 May 2018 and closing on Thursday 14 June 2018. To enter the competition entrants are asked to share a photograph which captures Germinal goods in use to the @GerminalUKAgri Twitter account.
    The grand prize will be announced on Friday 8 June and will receive £300 of Germinal products and a variety of Gemrinal branded merchandise. Weekly winners will also be selected and will receive a selection of Germinal branded merchandise. The photograph must include Germinal branded bag(s) and can be anything from loading seed to take home to grass being harvested or grazed.

    Terms and Conditions include:

    • Entry is open to residents of the U.K except employees (and their families) of Germinal GB, Germinal NI or other organisations owned or part owned by Germinal Holdings Ltd.

    • All entrant(s) must be aged 18 or over.

    1.Entries must include Germinal branded product bags

    2. Entries must be shared via Twitter to @GerminalUKAgri account and include the hashtag #AberOnFarm

    3. Entries made online using methods generated by a script, macro or the use of automated devices will be void.

    • No responsibility can be accepted for entries lost, delayed or corrupted, or due to computer error in transit.

    • The prize is as stated, are not transferable to another individual and no cash or other alternatives will be offered.

    • The winner(s) is (are) responsible for expenses and arrangements not specifically included in the prize, including any necessary travel documents.

    • Competitions may be modified or withdrawn at any time in exceptional circumstances.

    • In the event of a discrepancy between these terms and conditions and the details in the promotional material (or any other terms and conditions provided/referred to at the time of entry), these terms and conditions shall prevail.

    • The winner(s) agree(s) to the use of their name and photograph and will co–operate with any other reasonable requests by Germinal relating to any post–winning publicity.

    • By submitting a photograph to this competition, entrants are transferring ownership and rights of the photograph to Germinal Holdings Ltd for any use, marketing or otherwise.

    • The winner(s) will be drawn at random from all correct entries received by the closing date of Friday 15 June 2018.

    • Reasonable efforts will be made to contact the winner(s). If the winner(s) cannot be contacted, or are unable to comply with these terms and conditions, Germinal reserves the right to offer the prize to the next eligible entrant drawn at random.
  3. Great In Grass

    Cereals 2018 - Stand 561
    Tom Dummett, RAGT's Cereals & OSR Product Manager joined the Cereals team on site to discuss RAGT's planned activity for Cereals 2018.

    Make sure to visit RAGT at stand 561 on 13th & 14th June at Chrishall Grange, Duxford, Cambridgeshire.

    Read more via Cereals 2018 website.
  4. Great In Grass

    Recommended Lists Include Two New Aber Grass and Clover Ranges
    Latest Recommended Lists Include Two New Top–Ranking Additions To Germinal’s Aber Grass and Clover Ranges
    Two new top–ranking forage varieties from the IBERS Aberystwyth University public good plant breeding programme feature on the 2018/19 Recommended Grass and Clover Lists launched at Grassland UK.

    AberBann is a late heading diploid perennial ryegrass and the latest Aber High Sugar Grass on the RGCL, combining a high grazing yield with outstanding quality (Grazing D–value of 78.1). No other perennial ryegrass on the latest RGCL is higher than AberBann’s 109% for ME Yield/ha, and this superior energy yield ranks it 11% higher than the average of all other late diploids on the current list. In official trials, AberBann shows consistently high dry matter yields throughout, with a particularly strong main season performance with 113% of controls for early summer grazing and 107% of controls for late summer grazing.

    AberSwan is the only new white clover on the 2018/19 RGCL. A medium leaf–size variety, AberSwan has an exceptional total clover yield at 110% of the mean of all varieties on the list and shows its persistency with this rising to 121% of the mean by the third harvest year.

    Both new varieties will be marketed exclusively worldwide by Germinal and will feature in Germinal GB’s Aber HSG grass mixtures in the near future.

    AberBann adds to our comprehensive Aber High Sugar Grass range of top–ranking ryegrasses on the Recommended Grass and Clover Lists,” says Ben Wixey, National Agricultural Sales Manager for Germinal GB. “The combination of high dry matter yields and exceptional quality means significantly more energy per hectare for producing milk or meat. In addition, the variety excels in all the important agronomic traits (ground cover, persistency, disease resistance) that ensure the leys perform in the field. This late diploid follows the two outstanding perennial ryegrass varieties new onto the preceding RGCL, AberLee (late diploid) and AberSpey (intermediate tetraploid) and underlines the continued progress being made by the ryegrass breeders at IBERS.

    AberSwan is the latest product of a legume breeding programme at IBERS that includes performance under animal grazing as part of its white clover selection protocol. This is a medium–leaf variety that has demonstrated outstanding persistency when cut and grazed, out–yielding all other white clovers in the third harvest year. It is a strong addition to the range of Aber white clovers and will feature in both cutting and grazing mixtures in the future.”

    The first AberBann seed is expected to be commercially available in small quantities from the 2018 UK harvest whilst AberSwan white clover is expected to be in production following the 2019 harvest in New Zealand.
  5. Great In Grass

    Farmers Reaping Rewards From Multi–Cut
    Dairy farmers adopting a progressive multi–cut approach to silage making are reaping the benefits through improved forage quality, according to a recent UK–wide survey being reported at Grassland UK by Germinal.
    In the survey of over 150 dairy farmers, over 40% had shortened their cutting intervals in the last three years. Of these, a significant majority (92%) reported either much better or slightly better grass silage quality as a result.

    “The fact that the early adopters of multi–cut silage making are seeing an improvement in forage quality is entirely logical,” says Germinal’s Ben Wixey. “Cutting grass earlier in the season and at shorter intervals will mean it is closer to optimum D–value at the point of ensiling and should therefore result in a higher feed value forage. We estimate that this could amount to as much as an extra 1MJ/kg of energy in many cases – so 12MJ/kg ME silage instead of 11ME – which sets the platform for increasing milk production from forage.”

    Mr Wixey points out that to maximise the benefit of a multi–cut silage approach dairy farmers should be routinely reseeding their leys, using the best available varieties from the Recommended Grass and Clover Lists. It is also important to ensure all other elements of the silage making process are carried out with a ‘best practice’ mindset.

    Germinal has launched a specialist grass silage mixture formulated to suit ‘multi–cut’ systems. Comprised exclusively of high–ranking Aber® High Sugar Grass perennial ryegrasses, Aber HSG 2 Multi–Cut is designed to produce large quantities of leafy high–quality silage from frequent cutting during the period of peak grass growth.

    A balance of diploid and tetraploid varieties, with a tight spread of heading dates, Aber HSG 2 Multi–Cut provides the essential elements of high D–value and outstanding silage yields, plus good ground cover and persistency, to ensure consistent performance over a 6 to 8–year period.

    Extra investment in grass silage making will pay dividends, according to Germinal, as the extra feed energy in the clamp – which allows savings in bought–in feed – will boost milk from forage and underpin a more sustainable dairy business.
  6. Great In Grass

    Plants Respond Better to Overdoses of Light than Expected

    May 16, 2018 | Michelle Clarke

    Plants are damaged when they receive too much sunlight. Researchers from Wageningen and Lithuania have discovered how the internal protection system works that helps plants prevent the damage from these overdoses. The discovery could prove important for crop yields in the future.

    Green plants have an effective method of capturing and processing sunlight. The plant diverts the absorbed photons (light particles) to an internal processing unit, the reaction centre, where a series of chemical reactions convert the energy into electrons and protons needed to produce molecules like sugar. In bright sunlight, however, the reaction centre is unable to process the electrons and protons it produces quickly enough. This can damage the plant severely, whereby so-called free radicals cause chemical damage to proteins and lipids, causing tissues to die off.

    To prevent the next absorbed light particle from being sent to the reaction centre before the previous one has been completely processed, plants deploy various protection mechanisms that convert some of the absorbed light into harmless heat.

    Protection against overdoses of sunlight

    Professor of Biophysics Herbert van Amerongen and his research team explain their spectacular discovery of how this system works (the NPQ photo protection system) in Nature Plants.

    To activate this protection system, the plant triggers various enzymes. This effect lasts some tens of seconds to several minutes. In fluctuating light, for example when leaves are blown by the wind, it can result in costly energy losses. The importance of the moment of activating and deactivating the protection was demonstrated by researchers in the US one and a half years ago. They showed how modified tobacco leaves, of which the activation and deactivation process had been sped up considerably, produced up to 15% more biomass.

    Plants respond faster than expected

    The research team from Wageningen’s Laboratory of Biophysics and their Lithuanian colleagues have discovered that an important part of the activation process is much faster than expected. Although the activation process initially lasts tens of seconds, once the protection has been activated the system can respond to the state of the reaction centre almost instantaneously.

    Limited energy loss

    If the reaction centre is still processing the previous bundle of energy, a new incoming bundle is converted into heat; but if the reaction centre is available, then a much smaller fraction is converted into heat and so the energy losses are limited.

    Photosynthesis 2.0

    WUR is currently working on a new research proposal together with 51 other institutions from 17 EU countries: Photosynthesis 2.0. By 2050 we will need to be able to produce enough food for ten billion people. This means that we will need to produce twice as much to guarantee food security. But how do we do this without exhausting the earth’s resources?

    The results of Professor Van Amerongen’s research demonstrate that the commonly accepted photosynthesis models are incorrect and that plants use light more efficiently than was previously thought. This discovery is a starting point for new insights to increase production by means of photosynthesis. This does not only concern food crops, but also less obvious plants and other organisms that photosynthesize.

    For example, there is evidence that this protection mechanism is less effective in algae and microalgae. ‘Improving’ these organisms by introducing this mechanism to their photosynthesis system could provide opportunities to use these ‘crops’ more effectively for bio-energy and useful chemical products.

    Source: Wageningen
  7. Great In Grass

    Five new varieties added to the Recommended Lists
    Five grass varieties from DLF Seeds have been added to the Recommended Grass and Clover Lists for 2018/19

    The new varieties have been added to the 2018/2019 Recommended Grass and Clover Lists (RGCL) which was launched at the Grassland UK event at the Bath & West showground on 10 May and Royal Welsh Grassland event in Powys on 16 May.

    The varieties:
    Agaska - Intermediate perennial ryegrass diploid

    Good total annual yield under simulated grazing management, with very good early spring and good early summer growth. Good total annual yields under conservation management, with good second, third and fourth cut yields. Limited data shows good winter hardiness. Excellent resistance to crown rust, with limited data showing very good resistance to mildew

    Bowie - Late perennial ryegrass diploid
    Excellent total annual yield under simulated grazing, with excellent growth from early summer through to autumn. Good total annual yields under conservation management, with excellent first cut D value in the first harvest year and excellent second, third and fourth cut yields. Limited data shows very good resistance to mildew

    Nashota - Late perennial ryegrass tetraploid
    Excellent total annual yield under simulated grazing, with excellent growth for early grazing as well as in spring and early summer. Excellent total annual yields under conservation management, with excellent first and fourth cut yields, and good second and third cut yields. Excellent ground cover under grazing management, with good ground cover under conservation management and excellent resistance to crown rust.

    Thegn - Late perennial ryegrass tetraploid
    Excellent first conservation cut D value in the first harvest year, with excellent third and fourth cut yields. Excellent total annual yield under simulated grazing with excellent late summer growth. Good ground cover under both conservation and simulated grazing management. Limited data shows good winter hardiness. Good resistance to crown rust, with limited data showing good resistance to mildew.

    Perseus - Festulolium
    Good total annual yields in the second and third harvest years, with good yields in the year of sowing. Good first conservation cut yield in the first harvest year. Excellent crown rust resistance, very good resistance to ryegrass mosaic virus and good resistance to mildew

    The 2018/2019 RGCL handbook and the full lists for merchants is available to download from britishgrassland.com
  8. Great In Grass

    Educational Approach Gives Germinal Best Trade Stand at RWG
    Germinal GB were the proud recipients of the award for best trade stand at the 2018 Royal Welsh Grassland Event.


    The demonstration area included large–scale plots exhibiting several of the market–leading Aber HSG cutting and grazing mixtures, plus examples of the latest new varieties on the Recommended Grass and Clover Lists. In addition, there were displays to demonstrate alternative forage crops and root growth columns.

    The unenviable task of picking a winner from over 80 trade stands at the event went to
    Steve Hughson, Chief Executive, Royal Welsh Agricultural Society and Ann Tudor, wife of Tom Tudor, 2018 Royal Welsh President.

    Commenting on the judging, Steve Hughson said: “While judging the excellent variety of trade stands at the Grassland Event, Ann and myself were particularly looking for stands that had gone the extra mile to promote their product and represent the grassland themed event. The Germinal trade stand included pre–sown grass demonstration plots and educational exhibits representing how grass grows both above and below the ground. The exhibit clearly displayed the value of soil and different grass types. In addition, the staff were engaging and helpful. The stand was a worthy recipient of the best trade stand award.”
  9. Great In Grass

    New grass varieties from Barenbrug star on 2018 Recommended Grass and Clover List for England and Wales


    New grass varieties from Barenbrug star on 2018 Recommended Grass and Clover List for England and Wales

    The 2018/19 Recommended Grass and Clover List (RGCL) for England and Wales has been published – and once again varieties bred by Barenbrug UK feature highly throughout. In total, 24 ryegrass varieties were either bred by Barenbrug or its partners, with four brand new varieties entering the list for the first time.

    Making their debut are Galgorm and Callan – two varieties of diploid perennial ryegrass, which were developed by forage grass experts at Barenbrug in cooperation with the team at the Agri-Food and Bio-Sciences Institute (AFBI). In addition, two new tetraploid varieties make the list for the first time: Bannfoot, a tetraploid hybrid ryegrass arising from the AFBI / Barenbrug partnership; and Barimax, a tetraploid Italian from Barenbrug.

    In terms of grass performance, each of Barenbrug’s new varieties offer farmers something slightly different:

    • Galgorm is an intermediate diploid perennial ryegrass, with a heading date of 22nd May, that offers very good total annual yields combined with a very good mid-season D-value of 78.3D under simulated grazing management. Galgorm has an excellent first cut of 107% and an early grazing yield of 112%. It also offers very good autumn yields coupled with very good crown rust resistance.
    • Callan is a late diploid perennial ryegrass with a heading date of 1st Offering very good spring yields under simulated grazing management (117%), Callan delivers a very good total yield under conservation management of 102%. It also offers very good resistance to crown rust.
    • Bannfoot is an exciting new tetraploid hybrid ryegrass with a heading of 19th Bannfoot has a high percentage of perennial parentage meaning it is incredibly persistent - as demonstrated by its third year yield figure (105%), which has the highest 3rd year yield of all hybrid ryegrasses on the RGCL. Alongside an excellent yield in year three, farmers that sow Bannfoot can expect excellent first cut yields and high resistance to crown rust.
    • Barimax is an Italian tetraploid that heads on the 20th May and provides strong first and second cut yields as well as good total year figures for both year one and two. The first cut quality of Barimix is 71.9D and it has a crown rust resistance score of 7.3.

    Demonstrating the calibre of its breeding program, and the breadth of high quality grasses that if offers, Barenbrug has 24 ryegrass varieties, and two white clovers included on the England and Wales RGCL. Forage varieties that have appeared on the RGCL before, and that feature again include:

    • Clanrye, Dunluce, Glenariff, Moira and Seagoe, which have been established on hundreds of UK farms and created excellent swards
    • Caledon and Glenarm, which were added to the Recommended List for England and Wales in 2015
    • Glasker and Gosford, which were added in 2016
    • Fintona, which was first listed in 2014 and remains the highest yielding ryegrass ever produced by any breeder
    • White clover varieties Crusader and Barblanca

    Mhairi Dawson, Research & Development Manager for Forage at Barenbrug UK, said: “Naturally we are over the moon that four of our new varieties have been included on the Recommended Grass and Clover list for England and Wales for 2018/19 - alongside so many of our existing varieties. In a further endorsement, three of the four new grasses have also been added to the Scottish Recommended List. This achievement, and the fact that so many of our varieties continue to appear year after year, is testimony to the quality of our grass breeding programmes. The continual investments we make in our varieties are clear to see. The result is grass with genetics that stand the test of time, give farmers peace of mind and - most importantly, provide a good return on investment. In the current market, that’s more important than ever.”

  10. Great In Grass

    New varieties from Barenbrug appear on Scottish Recommended Grass and Clover List.


    New varieties from Barenbrug appear on Scottish Recommended Grass and Clover List

    Three new forage grass varieties from Barenbrug UK appear on the new Recommended Grass and Clover List for Scotland, it was revealed at the end of last week. Selecting products for its 2018/19 list, SRUC (Scotland’s Rural College) included a brand new Italian tetraploid grass from Barenbrug plus two of the company’s latest diploid perennial ryegrasses: an intermediate and a late.

    The three new varieties on the list are:

    • Barimax – Barenbrug’s latest tetraploid Italian ryegrass. The result of a breeding programme in Holland and extensive UK trials, Barimax heads on the 20th May, and offers high yields of high quality silage, with a first year total silage of 103% of control, and a second year of 105%. Second and third cut D values are 1.7D and 2.2D higher than control.
    • Galgorm – an intermediate heading perennial diploid from Barenbrug’s prolific breeding partnership with Agri-Food and Bio-Sciences Institute (AFBI). Extensively trialled throughout the UK, Galgorm heads on the 22nd It produces exceptional early spring growth under grazing (116% of control) and a second cut yield of 110% of control. Quality is also very high with grazing over 75D and a second cut of well over 70D.
    • Callan – a late heading diploid perennial ryegrass that heads on the 1st Also bred in partnership with AFBI, Callan offers excellent quality silage (first cut of 5.1D above control) and grazing with good yields, particularly under grazing management; 125% of control for early spring growth. Callan’s first cut yield is 111% which is excellent for a late heading variety.

    Barimax, Galgorm and Callan also appear on the English and Wales Recommended Grass and Clover List - which was published earlier this month. Mhairi Dawson, R&D Manager at Barenbrug UK, said: “The fact that our grass varieties regularly appear on Recommended Lists across the UK is testimony to the expertise of our grass breeding team. Year after year, their understanding of grass and their knowledge of grass-growing conditions across the UK ensures the development of top qualities varieties that can make a significant difference to a farmer’s bottom line.”

  11. Great In Grass

    Russia: world-class football demands world-class turf
    On June 14, the eyes of the world will be on Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium as Russia and Saudi Arabia stride out for the first match of the year's greatest football tournament.

    For 90 tough minutes, the 22 players will give the ball and the grass beneath their feet the most aggressive and unforgiving assault imaginable. The turf that can withstand those sliding tackles and the relentless pounding of studs has to be exceptional.


    DLF turf in most Russian stadiums

    In the Russian turf-seed market, DLF is a clear leader. With more than 100 turf varieties registered on the Russian National Variety List, there's plenty for Russian groundsmen to choose from. So it's no surprise to discover that eight out of the 12 tournament stadiums have chosen DLF grass seed for their moment in the spotlight.

    "It’s fantastic to be a part of the World Cup for the third time in a row, and to have such a strong position in turf grass for this top event," says DLF's CCO, Søren Halbye. "Although the Russian stadiums are spread throughout various climate zones, we have identified grass solutions to suit the different conditions, and we are confident that our grass will last all the way to the final."

    New generation of stress-tolerant turf grasses

    The cold winters, warm summers, and regional variations of the Russian climate present a string of performance challenges for turf grasses. Each Russian stadium has to take account of these stressful conditions when choosing its tournament grass. What works in one stadium may not work so well in another.

    [​IMG]With its leading position in turf R&D, DLF can help. Through improved turf technology, our plant breeders have developed a new generation of stress-tolerant turf grasses known as 4turf®. These tetraploid perennial ryegrasses are characterised by high tolerance to stress, a deeper root system, and a deep green colour. 4turf® boosts turf performance and gives groundsmen the characteristics they look for in a world-class sports pitch. That's why DLF turf grasses, and especially its 4turf® range, are such a popular choice among Russian groundsmen.

    Green to the very last

    Resilience is the primary characteristic for a grass grown for a world-class football tournament. During the long month of play, the 32 national teams will play 64 matches, seven of which will take place in the Luzhniki Stadium. Nevertheless, on July 15 when the winning team lifts the trophy, the fans will expect the turf of the Luzhniki to look as good as it did on the day the tournament started.

  12. Great In Grass

    Brassica Break Adds Value To Grassland Reseeding
    Brassica fodder crops can be an ideal break crop for Scottish sheep farmers planning to rejuvenate grassland and will also help boost short–term feed availability, said Germinal’s William Fleming at NSA ScotSheep.
    If drilling in mid to late summer, he recommends the fast–growing hybrid brassicas Swift or Redstart, which have the potential to provide up to seven tonnes of dry matter per hectare within 10–12 weeks of sowing.

    “By growing brassicas in between old grassland and a new reseed you are cleaning the ground very effectively, as there are two opportunities for weed control,” he says. “In some cases, there may still be time to do this ahead of an autumn reseed, using the brassica as a short–term grazing crop to fill a late summer forage gap. Alternatively, the brassica could provide autumn or out–wintering forage, ahead of spring reseeding.”

    Mr Fleming says that good results can be achieved by spraying off the old swards with glyphosate and then direct drilling the brassica crop, with this being particularly useful in upland areas.

    “Ploughing may not always be the best option, particularly where slopes or stones are a potential problem,” he adds. “Drilling the seed directly into the old sward also minimises poaching and keeps the stock cleaner.

    “If there are any problems in the old sward with weeds such as docks and nettles, I would recommend use of a specific weed killer before burning it off with glyphosate to prevent re–infestation.”

    Fertiliser should be applied in line with the results of soil sampling, to ensure brassica crops achieve their full potential.
  13. Great In Grass

    Growing Brassicas – have you thought it through
    Without doubt, grass has to be the first priority for feeding livestock efficiently, however forage crops can play a valuable role both for out–wintering livestock and overcoming grass shortages during the summer months.


    There are a number of options available to farmers when choosing forage crops, but there are three fundamental questions to answer before deciding on the most cost–effective type of forage crop for your livestock production system.

    1. When do you want to utilise the crop?
    2. When will the land for growing the forage crop become vacant?
    3. How many animals do you need the crop to feed?
    General guidelines for sowing

    Site selection

    • When choosing a field for growing forage crops for out–wintering, choose a field that will dry out quickly and does not have an extreme slope. The field should not be close to watercourses or water supplies (cross–compliance is a consideration).

    • Ideally choose fields where grass production is falling and it can be incorporated into a grass reseeding program.

    • Club root is a threat to brassicas so a one in five–year rotation is advised to keep club root levels low.
    Sowing advice

    • Soil test prior to sowing.
    • Soil pH is critically important and should be at least 6.0 (optimum is 6.2 to 7.0). Crops will perform best under good soil pH and fertility status.
    • Spray off the old sward with glyphosate.
    • If min–till, use a minimum of 2 bags of gran lime.
    • Seed is generally sown into a cultivated seedbed, but can also be direct drilled or broadcast (if broadcasting you will need to increase the seed rate).
    • Sow seeds into a fine, firm seedbed at a maximum depth of 10mm to ensure uniform germination.
    • Roll after sowing.
    • Monitor the crop closely for weeds and pests and control as appropriate.
    Benefits of Brassicas

    Brassicas are low in fibre and supplementing with a fibre source e.g. baled silage is critical for animal health. In addition, ensure animals will have constant access to fresh water when grazing the crop. Kale and the hybrid brassicas (a rape x kale cross) are the most common brassica forage options for British & Irish farmers.



    Kale is suitable for sheep and cattle grazing. Maris Kestrel is the most popular variety of kale in the UK and Ireland due to its exceptionally high leaf: stem ratio and high feed value. It has high digestibility and a long utilisation period and animals can utilise the entire plant.

    Sowing guidelines


    – Kale Sowing Date: May to early June
    – Kale Seeding Rate: 2.5 –3.0 kg /acre (increase to 3.5 kg/acre if broadcasting)
    – Kale Utilisation: November to February

    Kale X Rape Hybrids

    The hybrid brassica, Redstart (Rape x kale cross) offers the highly beneficial combination of rapid growth ability and good all year round performance. The forage rape genes give it the ability to grow quickly, while the kale genes deliver excellent winter hardiness. Redstart is mainly used as a high energy protein crop for out–wintering cattle and sheep. Redstart can be grazed more than once if sown early, if so take care with the first grazing to ensure the main stem remains intact to protect the crop for future regrowth.

    Sowing guidelines

    Redstart Hybrid Brassica

    Sow Redstart: Mid–June to Mid–August (earlier sown will allow repeat grazings)

    – Redstart Seeding rate: 3.5–4.0 kg /acre
    – Redstart Utilisation: August to February

    Fertiliser for Brassicas

    Brassicas have a high requirement for N and P and an adequate supply of these nutrients is critical to maximise the yield potential of the crop. At soil Index 3, Kale and Redstart will require 100 kg N/ha (split dressing), 30 kg P/ha and 170 kg K/ha. It is advisable to fertilise the crop of Redstart after grazing to ensure sufficient nutrients for regrowth but always remain within your N and P allowances within the nitrates directive.

    Grazing management

    When it comes to grazing the crop, there are a few guidelines that should be followed so that the stock really benefit from the crop and don’t experience any setbacks:

    • Introduce stock slowly – allow 1–2 hours access and build up to full–time access after 7–10 days
    • Provide access to roughage e.g. silage bales – place bales in the field during the summer or at sowing as this will avoid machinery travelling the field in winter (reduce soil damage) and reduce workload.
    • Strip grazing will maximise utilisation and minimise wastage
    • Graze in long narrow strips to ensure all animals can graze at the same time and also to minimise trampling of the crop at feeding.
    • Provide minerals/ bolus animals – speak to your vet to ensure animals receive the necessary minerals
    • If sown on a hill always graze downhill
    • Ensure constant access to fresh water
  14. Great In Grass

    Building business resilience business with brassicas;

    Germinal_Brassica_Supplement_Page_1.jpg Germinal_Brassica_Supplement_Page_2.jpg Germinal_Brassica_Supplement_Page_3.jpg Germinal_Brassica_Supplement_Page_4.jpg
  15. Great In Grass

    Swede seed availability for 2018;


    Airlie is a low to medium dry matter variety with a very high fresh yield and good disease resistance. It is a dual purpose variety suitable for fodder and culinary use with purple skin and creamy white flesh. Airlie is an early to intermediate use variety.

    Kenmore is an early maturing variety with a medium dry matter, best suited as stock feed, not culinary use. It has good winter hardiness which means it has a very wide utilisation window. Kenmore has bronze skin with white flesh.

    High fresh and dry yields make this variety ideal for finishing lambs post Christmas. Lomond has both powdery mildew and clubroot resistance and trials show it suffers less from rots and splits in its root.

    Marian is a medium dry matter variety with moderate resistance to club root. It is a dual purpose variety suitable for fodder and culinary use with yellow coloured flesh and purple skin.

    Gowrie is a variety bred in Scotland and can be utilised pre or post-Christmas. It can produce high dry matter yields and exhibits good resistance to both clubroot and powdery mildew.

    Ruta Otofte.
    Ruta Otofte is a medium dry matter variety with good mildew resistance. It is a dual purpose variety suitable for fodder and culinary use with purple skin and cream coloured flesh. Ruta Otofte is a popular variety with sheep farmers.

    A new generation high–yielding swede variety ideally suited for out-wintering sheep is now available from Germinal GB following its inclusion on the UK National List.
  16. Great In Grass

    Barenbrug - Sheep Guide - Grow more grass


    Sheep Guide

    Sheep farmers looking to grow more grass in 2018 are being offered a free guide to grassland management. Crammed full of useful advice, the Barenbrug Sheep Guide 2018 will be officially launched at NSA ScotSheep this week.

    Developed by the agricultural team at Barenbrug - one of the UK’s leading producers of forage grass varieties and mixtures – the guide contains practical hints and tips to help sheep farmers manage their grassland more efficiently to maximize yields and profitability.

    It looks at the science of good grass and includes facts and figures about animal and plant physiology. It features information on good grazing management including when to graze grass and how to perfect pasture pressure. There are also sections on looking after leys long-term, and successful soil management and seed selection.

    The Barenbrug Sheep Guide is the fourth document in a series of information booklets that we have produced to help UK farmers make more from grass. In 2017 the team published its Guide to Brassicas and Forage Crops, and a separate Dairy Guide. In February of this year, the team launched its Beef Guide.

    Commenting, Mhairi Dawson, Research & Development Manager, and a sheep farmer herself, said: “Regardless of breed, all UK sheep farmers have one thing in common; the need to provide their animals with top quality grass to eat. Costing far less than manufactured animal feed, well-managed grassland can supply almost all of the energy and protein requirements of a flock – but deciding what type of grass to grow and how best to manage it can be difficult. Now is the perfect time to take stock and plan how you are going to manage your grass over the summer and plan for the 2019 growing season. With so many forage grass options now available, our guide is designed to help farmers make the right choices as they work to achieve their grassland goals.”

    Sheep guide

    Download the Sheep Guide - practical advice for grass grazing management

  17. Great In Grass

    Other Barenbrug information for download;

    BarForage Beef Guide: Download

    BarForage Dairy Guide: Download

    Brassica & Forage Crops: Download
  18. Great In Grass

    Barenbrug's Good Grass Guide: Download
  19. Great In Grass

  20. Great In Grass

    Winter cereals availability list autumn 2018;

    Please inquire for price.

    Group 1
    KWS Zyatt
    RGT Skyfall

    Group 2
    KWS Lili
    KWS Siskin
    Cordiale - Over Yeared

    Group 3
    Elicit - NV
    KWS Barrel
    KWS Basset

    Group 4 - Hard
    Gleam - NV
    RGT Gravity - NV
    KWS Crispin
    KWS Kerrin
    KWS Santiago
    KWS Silverstone - Over Yeared
    JB Diego

    Group 4 - Soft
    LG Motown
    LG Skyscraper
    LG Sundance
    KWS Jackal

    Group 4
    Bennington - Over Yeared
    RGT Universe - Over Yeared


    6 Row
    Bazooka (Hybrid)
    Sunningdale (Hybrid)

    2 Row Feed
    KWS Cassia
    KWS Infinity
    KWS Tower
    KWS Glacier
    KWS Orwell

    RGT Lineout


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