Countryside Seeds Ltd

Discussion in 'Company Information and PR' started by Chris F, Jan 9, 2015.

Countryside Seeds Ltd
  1. Great In Grass

    Post–Drought Patience Will Pay Longer Term Forage Dividends
    Keeping stock off pastures until grass is as close as possible to the optimum three–leaf stage will be the best way to overcome forage shortfalls following recent drought conditions.
    There could be potential for extended grazing this autumn, but it is important to allow swards recovering from drought to reach the three–leaf stage before turning stock on where possible.
    This is the advice of Germinal’s Ben Wixey, who says turning stock onto recovering grassland too quickly could prove counter–productive.

    “If grazed before they reach the optimum growth stage, regrowth of grassland swards will be stunted and that will mean less grazing later in the season,” he points out. “If grazing is critically short, it will be better to select a sacrifice area to use as a platform for feeding supplementary silage until the better–performing grazing fields have reached the optimum growth stage.

    “One benefit of the heatwave is that soils may well stay warmer for longer into the autumn. This will offer the potential for late season growth and extended grazing, so it is worth looking after leys during the period of recovery.

    “Identifying the poorest performing fields is also important, so that these can be ear–marked for reseeding. Again, warmer soils will extend the opportunity to establish new leys that are going to be an important part of restoring forage stocks.”
  2. Great In Grass

    IMPORTANCE OF THREE LEAVES FOR GRASS RECOVERY. Germinal Tweeted a very interested image which shows how roots are impacted by too short grazing intervals. Is this showing up on your farm? Pastures that have had better grazing management now recovering more quickly? More roots = more resilience.

    Dj6L0nXXcAAZBl0.jpg large.jpg
  3. Great In Grass

    Festuloliums prove their worth in UK drought
    In the summer drought Festiloliums remain green and healthy

    Grassland is suffering badly in the summer drought, leaving many livestock producers without forage – but festuloliums are proving their worth by remaining green and healthy.

    The grasses – a cross between drought-tolerant fescues and high-quality ryegrass – were originally bred for the south European climate, but have become increasingly popular in the UK, where DLF is pioneering a UK range.

    “I was walking around our Didbrook trial site recently and every festulolium plot stood out,” says Tim Kerridge, managing director at DLF. “You could spot them a mile away.” However, one plot that really impressed was from an old overseeding trial which was abandoned after the trial finished. “It was sown with predominantly perennial ryegrass in 2004, and then overseeded each year with a festulolium,” explains Mr Kerridge.

    The trial ended in 2009, and almost every other plot – from clover to ryegrass - has since been invaded by broadleaved and grass weeds. “But the festulolium plot is almost 100% festulolium, and the remarkable thing is that it was still green, when everything else around it was dead.”

    Farmers should consider including festuloliums in their grass mixtures, to benefit from their deep rooting abilities, drought and stress tolerance, disease resistance and persistence, he adds. “Perseus, which is new to the AHDB Recommended List this year has very high yields and forage quality but is far more persistent than Italian ryegrass alone. It is also the only variety on the RL with the top score of 9 for Crown Rust, which is a very important disease in UK grassland.”

    A new variety, which is working its way through the trials and is already approved in the EU, is Hipast – a fescue type which is high quality, dense and very persistent making it suitable for longer term leys. “In the past, most festuloliums of this type were best suited for cutting – this is the first true multi-purpose variety that is equally suited to long term grazing ” says Mr Kerridge. “It has big implications for replacing PRG on a host of different soils and sites.”

    The Didbrook trial site undertakes official trials for AHDB, as well as in-house breeding programmes and commercial trials. With a total of 7,000 different plots, it offers comprehensive testing, measuring yields, dry matter, and quality characteristics. “There are a number of different festulolium types reflecting tall fescue, meadow fescue, Italian ryegrass or PRG genetics,” explains breeding station manager Tony Strickland.

    “We’re introducing different genes to get the best of both worlds, with very vigorous growth, extensive rooting, high quality and yields. Festuloliums are very popular across the country – so aren’t just suited to droughty sites – and there are some very exciting developments in the pipeline.”
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  4. Great In Grass

    Download your Barenbrug BarForage England & Wales grass seed mixture catalogue now!
    Instantly download BarForage England and Wales


  5. Great In Grass

  6. Great In Grass

    Start walking maize now for quality forage

    An early maize harvest could catch farmers out unless they start monitoring crops soon according to Tim Richmond from Limagrain.

    With maize harvest looking to be at least two weeks earlier in many parts of the country he says it is important to focus on harvesting their maize in optimum conditions.

    Mr Richmond says there are two main reasons why the maize harvest should be significantly earlier this year. The first is the season where, as a result of the prolonged drought, crops are generally two weeks ahead of normal.

    “The hot weather means the accumulated Ontario Heat Units are already high meaning crops are maturing quickly. We have seen early tasselling and crops drying down quicker.

    “The second reason is that to help reduce the problems created by the cold, wet spring, lower soil temperatures and delayed drilling, we saw a swing from later maturing varieties to earlier maturing options. Early varieties will typically mature two weeks ahead of later maturing varieties, irrespective of the season. Where a farmer switched varieties, they could be looking at harvesting four weeks earlier than last year.

    “Correct timing of harvest is essential to ensure the best yield of high quality maize silage by, so I recommend walking crops from late August to assess maturity.

    “The target range for an optimum crop is 32-35% dry matter as this maximises the dry matter yield and starch content while also maintaining better digestibility in the vegetative part of the plant which typically contains 50% of the energy.


    “At dry matter levels higher than this, palatability and intakes can be reduced, digestibility will be compromised and the crop may prove difficult to consolidate, increasing the risk of aerobic spoilage.

    “Crops typically dry down at 2% per week but this year it will be much quicker, possibly as high as 4% per week, so it is important to start measuring dry matter and assessing maturity sooner rather than later.

    “Look to harvest when no juice emerges as the stem is twisted, and when the leaves level with the cob are just beginning to turn brown. The grains at the top of the cob should be like soft cheese, the ones at the bottom should be like hard cheese and the ones in the middle should be soft enough to leave the imprint of a thumbnail on. Our Maize Manager app contains all the information needed to assess crops for harvest.

    “As well as regularly walking and assessing the crop, it is vital to talk to your contractor so they are aware of likely harvesting dates. By reacting to the season, you will be able to ensure the best quality forage.”

  7. Great In Grass

    Despite one of the wettest springs and driest summers on record, Lincs farmer Tim Lamyman, has managed to harvest 15.38t/ha from his crop of LG Skyscraper wheat.

    “In what has been a really challenging season to get yields like this from a variety the first time we have grown it is tremendous. It’s one of the boldest samples I have seen in a wheat since we grew Oakley back in 2008 producing a specific weight of 84.”


    Mr Lamyman chose to grow LG Skyscraper for its very high yield potential and the combination of plant characteristics offered by the variety . “It’s the highest yielding candidate in the 2018 AHDB Recommended List trials at 109% of control, so we had the right mix of good soils offering the potential to develop well-structured root systems enabling easier nutrient uptake and a high yielding variety from the start.”

    The very same 8ha field in which the LG Skyscraper was grown, grew a record breaking crop of LG Stallion peas last year.

    The crop was drilled on 24th September at a seed rate of 175kg/ha into a field which is a grade 2 chalky loam, that had been pressed followed by two passes with a Lemkin Terradisc and then finished with a Vaaderstat carrier (discs and crumble roller).

    Once satisfied with the seed bed, LG Skyscraper was drilled by a Vaaderstat Rapid with the coulters set at a 4 inch row width, and finally rolled.

    Mr Lamyman puts down his high yields, which includes this year’s OSR record yield of 7.01t/ha, to a good foliar feed programme, which he says helps to encourage deeper rooting in the winter relieving heat stress in the summer.

    “Little and often is my philosophy to meet the crop’s growing needs; a healthy well-fed crop will be better at resisting debilitating disease,” he says.

    “Between sowing and mid-November the crop had 3 applications of Delta K which went on with an insecticide, a herbicide and then on its own. After that the weather closed in, and it was very cold and wet, so we didn’t do much more with the crop until the spring.”

    With regards to nitrogen applications, the crop received a total of 360kg/ha spread over several applications between February and May, he says.


    “I can’t say enough how pleased I am with the way that the crop has performed in what has been a really challenging season. I will definitely be growing the variety again next year – there are always learnings to be had when growing a new variety. I say it takes four years of growing a variety to really get to know it and to grow it to its full potential.”

    Fungicide inputs
    • Seed treatment Redigo Deter +GPA +FC
    • T0 – Cherokee + Modus (50ml) + Chlormequot (1 litre) + Delta K
    • T1 – Same as T0 + Growth regulator + Ascara X Pro (1.2litre) + Delta K + 1-4-ALL
    • 5 – Folicur (0.5litre) + Cerone (0.5 litre) + Tip Top (2.5 litre) + Magnesium (0.5 litre)
    • T2 – Elatus Era (1 litre) + Cerone (0.25 litre) + Tip Top (2.5 litre) + Magnesium (0.5 litre) + Boron (1 litre) + Bravo (1 litre)
    • T3 – Folicur (0.25 litre) + Proline (0.55 litre) + Amistar Opti (1 litre) + X-Stress (1 litre) + ToPPit (2 litre) + Calflux (0.5 litre)
    • T4 – Folicur (0.5 litre) + X-Stress (1 litre) + ToPPit (3 litre) + Calflux (0.5 litre)
  8. Great In Grass

    BarBumper - Forage Boost

    BarBumper is a very flexible product that can fit into different regimes where extra forage is required immediately. This specialist ryegrass mix will produce up to 30% more forage than a newly sown perennial ryegrass ley and is designed to give maximum bulk instantly, producing leafy quality forage from now all the way through to next winter. It can grow down to 3oC soil temperature and will utilise the nutrients that are available in the soil after the dry summer we have been experiencing.

    It is equally at home being used as a winter grazing mixture, early spring cut before being ploughed out for a spring-sown crop or used as a sacrifice field for early spring grazing as a more cost-effective alternative to perennial ryegrass.

    BarBumper MIX DETAILS 2018.jpg
  9. Great In Grass

    DLF Seeds is to acquire PGG Wrightson Seeds
    PGG Wrightson Ltd and DLF Seeds A/S have reached an agreement for DLF to acquire PGG Wrightson Seeds. The transaction remains subject to regulatory approvals. PPG Wrightson Seeds is international market leader in the Southern Hemisphere within forage and turf seeds, with activities in New Zealand, Australia, Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil.

    - For DLF, the acquisition of PGG Wrightson Seeds is truly a significant strategic leap. We see PGG Wrightson Seeds as the leading temperate forage seed player in the Southern Hemisphere, with DLF occupying a similar position in the Northern Hemisphere. We see real opportunity for value creation as a combined business with a strong global offering for our customers, DLF Chief Executive Truels Damsgaard said.

    PGG Wrightson Chief Executive Ian Glasson said, “The Seeds business will benefit from being part of a truly global company with a diversified offering. Meanwhile PGG Wrightson Rural Services will continue its strategic partnership with Seed and Grain, and remain the leading New Zealand rural services company.

    PGG Wrightson Seeds and DLF operate complementary businesses in terms of market coverage and distribution capabilities geographically. The combined business will gain such critical mass that will allow continued investments into research and product development at the highest level.

    - Offering end-users better seed solutions through research and plant breeding is at the core of a proprietary seed company’s strategy and mission. The world is changing ever faster with new plant breeding technologies offering quicker and better tailored solutions to diverse farming conditions. To stay ahead of the competition, it is of outmost importance to gain scale in your business, as applied biotechnology is expensive and long term to develop and not without technology risks. With this acquisition DLF not only achieves such scale, we also gain a strong supply chain and market coverage in the Southern Hemisphere, which positions DLF uniquely in the global forage and turf seed space, Truels Damsgaard said.

    - Group General Manager PGG Wrightson Seeds John McKenzie said: From a PGG Wrightson Seeds’ stand point, I have known Truels for a long time and I look forward to working with the DLF organisation. Over recent months I have come to know DLF - and the DLF management - as a dedicated, long-term player in the forage and turf industry. For the future, as in the past, PGG Wrightson Seeds will continue to offer advanced seed solutions via our existing retailer customer base to end-users, not least to farmers across New Zealand, Australia and South America.

    - We have come to know PGG Wrightson Seeds and its management, headed by John McKenzie, as true seedsmen with a philosophy which is compatible with DLF’s. We appreciate the value add proposition, especially to farmers, that are driving PGG Wrightson Seeds brand and operation. I look forward to welcoming John and his entire team to DLF, and in a combined effort I’m confident we shall continue to offer the best seed solution to farmers and end-users across the globe, Truels Damsgaard said.

    The transaction is expected to close within six months.
  10. Great In Grass

    Choose bold seeds for vigour and yield
    Oilseed rape seeds are smaller than normal this year due to the drought during pod fill, so farmers should try to drill varieties with bold seeds, particularly where there are establishment challenges.

    “Bolder seeds are proven to boost vigour at germination due to the extra energy they contain,” explains Clive Sutton at DLF Seeds. “This means crops can grow away from disease and pest challenges for more even establishment.”

    Trials at the Saskatoon Research Centre in Saskatchewan, Canada, revealed that the leaf area, shoot weight and biomass of seedlings from large canola seeds were 1.3-2.0 times greater under controlled conditions than those from small seeds. “Under field conditions without insecticides, seedlings from small seeds had the highest flea beetle damage, poorest establishment, and lowest shoot weight, biomass and yield,” says the report.

    “Seedlings from large seeds are more vigorous and tolerant to flea beetle damage than seedlings from medium or small seeds.” This is due to a higher initial shoot biomass and higher growth rate.

    Getting rapeseed off to a vigorous start is especially important in the absence of neonicotinoids, to get the crop growing away from flea beetle damage. “At the Cereals Event this year Anglia Grain Services had a display of smaller seeded plants growing next to larger seeded ones, and the difference was really noticeable,” says Mr Sutton. “You could see the difference in rooting, and both the cotyledons and first leaves were markedly bigger.”

    One advantage of using conventional varieties rather than hybrids is that it is relatively cheap and easy to increase the seed rate to account for local weather and pest conditions. “This means you can react to changing circumstances by increasing the seed rate as required.”

    When farm saving seed, it is vital to get it properly dressed to obtain bold seeds with no admixture, he warns. “It’s also worthwhile choosing varieties that naturally have larger seeds through their superior genetics. Broadway and Elevation, both new to the Recommended List this year, were specifically bred for large pods, seed content and seed size.”

    Elevation in particular has very bold seed, and to date it has topped the yield chart in both 2017 and 2018 official trials. “This year was very challenging for establishing and nurturing crops through the damp spring and dry summer,” says Mr Sutton. “To achieve this level of consistency is very impressive.”

    As well as offering good energy stores for germination, bolder seed also boost the resulting yield at harvest. “Plants with larger pods, bolder seeds and more seeds per pod have a natural advantage when it comes to yield. Every 1g extra in thousand seed weight at harvest gives you an extra 15-20% yield for the same seed number.”

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  11. Great In Grass

    I pinched the photo below from David Linton's Twitter account. David is Barenbrug's Regional Sales Manager for Northern Ireland.

    The photo shows Barenbrug's Cut & Graze grass mixture with a kilo of Barabas stubble turnips added sown 3 weeks ago today. A perfect cover crop for a reseed providing shelter for new grass and much needed winter fodder for lambs.

    If you are in NI and want to talk forage pleasegive David a call: 07740 063315

    Cut & Graze with a kilo of Barabas.jpg
  12. Great In Grass

    Maize lodging could affect harvest success

    With some farmers reporting lodging in maize crops, Limagrain Forage Technical Manager Richard Camplin says the increased incidence is a consequence of the season.

    “While some varieties are more prone than others, lodging in maize is, fortunately, a reasonably rare occurrence,” he explains. “This year it seems to be more of a problem with varieties, usually resistant to lodging, being affected.”

    Mr Camplin says that the increased incidence of lodging is due to the combination of the wet spring and warm summer and the subsequent impact on plant development. In particular, the root: plant ratio and how this changes through the season, the root depth and extent of the development of buttress roots all play a very major role in a plants susceptibility to lodging.

    He explains that this year, drilling generally occurred in wet conditions, where moisture was more than adequate. This meant root systems were ‘lazy’, not having to search for moisture. Then, with rapidly warming temperatures, plant growth accelerated, while root development in the drying soils didn’t keep pace leading to fewer of the crucial structural roots.

    “In some areas with light soils, plants soon ran out of water, leading to very short stunted crops. On the heavier ground, where water was not limited so early, plants could grow on well. But as these soils dried out, so the crops had to rely on the onset of heavy showers to wet the upper surface of the soil as this is where the roots were located.

    “The result is that there are some very big crops with poorly developed root systems and very few buttress roots. Plant growth has out-stripped root growth, leaving an abnormally large plant: root ratio.”

    He says that after the prolonged period of dry weather, many areas had strong winds and heavy rain, which played a big part in pushing over very big plants with poor root systems.

    “The danger now is that if crops are left too long in the field, lodging could become more commonplace as plants begin to senesce and we see more wet and windy conditions. Farmers need to monitor crop maturity closely and make sure they are harvesting as soon as crops achieve the optimum 32%DM. Don’t leave it too late and increase the risk of crops going flat.

    “Where crops do suffer, we would advise discussing the best approach to harvesting with your contractor,” Mr Camplin concludes.
  13. Great In Grass

    When the Seed Becomes a Plant, it has 48 Hours to Survive - August 15, 2018 | European Seed


    When a seed germinates, it has only two days before it has exhausted its reserves to become a seedling capable of photosynthesis. French-speaking researchers unveil the mechanism.

    During germination, the embryo must be transformed into a young seedling capable of photosynthesis in less than 48 hours. During this time, it relies solely on his internal reserves, which are quickly consumed. It must, therefore, create in record time functional chloroplasts, cell organelles that will allow it to produce sugars to ensure its survival. Researchers from the University of Geneva (UNIGE) and the University of Neuchâtel (UniNE) have revealed in the journal Current Biology the key elements that govern the formation of chloroplasts from proplasts, hitherto little studied. Such a mechanism ensures a rapid transition to autonomous growth, as soon as the seed decides to germinate.

    The astonishing spread and diversification of flowering plants in the terrestrial environment is mainly due to the appearance of seeds during evolution. The embryo, dormant, is encapsulated and protected in a very resistant structure, which facilitates its dispersion. At this stage, it can not photosynthesize and must consume the nutrient reserves stored in the seed during germination. This process, in turn, induces the transformation of a robust embryo into a fragile young shoot. “This is a critical step in a plant’s life, which is tightly regulated, particularly by gibberellic acid growth hormone (GA). The production of this hormone is suppressed when the external conditions are unfavourable “, explains Luis Lopez-Molina, professor in the Department of Botany and Plant Biology of the Faculty of Sciences of UNIGE.

    Import proteins submitted to the cell crusher

    The awakening of the embryo causes the differentiation of its proplasts into chloroplasts, real plants capable of producing sugar through photosynthesis. “Thousands of different proteins need to be imported into the developing chloroplasts, and this process can only take place in the presence of a protein called TOC159. If this is lacking, the plant will be free of chloroplasts and will remain albino, “says Felix Kessler, director of the plant physiology laboratory and vice-rector of UniNE.

    What is the dialogue that is established at the heart of the seed so that it remains in a protected state or, on the contrary, decides to germinate? “We discovered that, as long as the GA hormone is repressed, a mechanism is set up for the TOC159 proteins to be routed to the cellular road to be degraded,” says Venkatasalam Shanmugabalaji, a researcher in the Neuchâtel group. and first author of the study. In addition, other proteins required for photosynthesis, which TOC159 facilitates import, suffer the same fate.

    A high-performance biomechanism

    When external conditions become favorable for germination, the concentration of GA hormone increases in the seed. Biologists have shown that it indirectly blocks the degradation of TOC159 proteins. These can be inserted in the membrane of proplasts and allow the importation of cargoes of photosynthetic proteins that escape, too, the cellular road.

    The genesis of the first functional chloroplasts, set up in less than 48 hours, ensures a rapid transition from a growth dependent on the reserves of the embryo to an autonomous development. This high-performance mechanism contributes to the survival of the young shoot in an inhospitable environment, in which it will face many challenges.

    Source: University of Neuchâtel
  14. Great In Grass

    Diploid or tetraploid?
    Perennial ryegrass thrives on most soil types, except when under very dry conditions or infertile soils.

    The species is perennial and suitable for both grazing and cutting. Perennial ryegrass has high sugar content, high digestibility and produces a high yield of good quality. Perennial ryegrass is particularly suitable for mixtures with white clover.

    Diploid varieties are – compared to tetraploid – distinguished by being more fine-leaved and dense in growth. They are more resistant to damage by grazing cattle. The diploids have a higher dry-matter content.

    Tetraploid varieties are typically darker and more broad-leaved, and slightly higher yielding with higher sugar content, better winter hardiness, and more open growth. DLF has developed tetraploid varieties that are as dense as most diploids, making them particularly suitable for grazing. Their seed size is larger than diploids making them ideal for inclusion in over-seeding mixtures. They produce fewer, larger tillers than diploids leading to more open swards which can give better compatibility with white clover. Their development is regarded as a major advance in grass breeding.

    Diploid or tetraploid?

    Diploid varieties

    • are more winter-hardy under frost
    • have a higher dry matter content and dries faster
    • are more dense and with a better ground cover
    Tetraploid varieties

    • are more palatable
    • have a slightly higher yield
    • are more winter hardy under snow
    • are more resistant to rust and other diseases
    • are more broad-leaved and with an open growth
    • fits perfect in mixtures with clover
    Recent research has shown that most tetraploids outperformed diploids for grazing utilisation. Thirty varieties of perennial ryegrass on the 2016 Irish recommended list were rotationally grazed by dairy cows. The total available herbage was measured as were the pre and post- grazing heights allowing for the grazing utilisation to be determined. This improved utilisation and hence intake will improve the yield of both milk and meat.

    An increased amount of grass in the cow´s feed ratio will

    • Increase protein supply from home-grown feed
    • Improve health of the cow due to better rumen function
    • Reduce nitrogen leaching to the environment
    • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions from ruminants
  15. Great In Grass

    Barenbrug's 'Good Grass Guide' (updated).

  16. Great In Grass

  17. Great In Grass


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  19. Great In Grass

    Hopefully we’ve convinced you that doing nothing with your grass is actually the worst decision you could
    make. Assuming you’ve decided to invest in a new sward, we suggest these four steps. The following pages
    walk you through our phased approach to turning your grass into gold.

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