Great In Grass

Countryside Seeds Ltd

As of the 1st July a slight change to the business, it's become incorporated and with it a change of name. Farm machinery sales have not been a part of Farm Equip's business for a number of years and we felt now was the time for a new name to reflect more of what we do, so Countryside Seeds Limited was born.

We still offer friendly service and advice with up to date products at keen prices.

Company History

Farm Equip was launched by myself (Kevin) on the 1st January 1980. Initially selling farm consumables from the back of a yellow transit van.

Over the past few years the business has become almost predominately the sale of seed in its varies guises where it be a single bag of lawn seed to tonnes of grass/cereal seed.

I am in the very lucky position to be a distributor for some of the UK’s leading seed houses which include Barenbrug UK Ltd, DLF Trifolium Ltd, Grainseed Ltd and Soya UK to name a few.

I am more than happy to work with the customer on compiling their own mixture.

To contact me you may PM through the forum or I am very happy to be telephoned on 07881 804442.
Email: [email protected]

As like a lot of you I'm self employed so no 9-5 here so please telephone at your convenience.
Last edited by a moderator:

Great In Grass

DLF-TRIFOLIUM focuses closely on the demands of customers as well as on the market trends of clover and grass seed. Offering one of the world’s largest research and breeding programmes for both turf and forage,

DLF-TRIFOLIUM is working consistently to improve the quality and reliability of all varieties. To meet market expectations, these varieties are tested through a worldwide trialling network for adaptation to different climatic and environmental conditions.

DLF-TRIFOLIUM is the world’s largest producer and distributor of grass seed. With subsidiaries in Denmark, Sweden, Holland, UK, France, Germany, Czech Republic, Russia, China, New Zealand, South America, USA and Canada, an extended distributor and customer network serves the markets worldwide.

Grass seed for all purposes
DLF strives to be the preferred grass seed partner for farmers dealing with dairy or beef cattle, sheep and horses. Our ambition is to deliver solutions for all situations where grass and clover grass is the best choice from a nutritional and economic point of view. Our constant focus on the needs of the end-user filters back into our breeding and product development, where new and better solutions are created with the aim of providing your livestock production a high degree of self-sufficiency for the benefit of the total farm economy.

Great In Grass

Practical tips to help livestock farmers turn over a new leaf in 2015


It’s that time of year when everyone starts thinking about making New Year’s resolutions and turning over a new leaf. To help farmers thinking about changing the way they manage their grassland in 2015, Barenbrug – one of the UK’s leading agricultural grass and forage specialists - has come up with five simple steps designed to help improve fields, pastures and paddocks.

James Ingles, Head of Agriculture at Barenbrug UK, said: “Our work with farmers throughout 2014 has highlighted a growing recognition that grass needs to be managed just like any other crop. We’ve devised these hints and tips to support farmers who have come to this conclusion and decided to get a grip on their grassland during the year ahead. Although there is talk of poorer milk prices in the months ahead, livestock farmers shouldn't let that determine whether or not they reseed. New swards out-perform older grasses and should be much easier to manage if enough thought goes into the mixture – helping to improve profitability.”

Step 1: Walk your fields: Look carefully at any areas of grassland. If grass is an unhealthy shade of yellowy green or if there is water lying on the surface after rainfall, there could be a soil structure problem. Left untackled this could affect production and persistency levels later in the year causing the sward to fill up with weed grasses. This in turn will decrease yields and affect spring growth significantly. Check for areas of bare ground where grass is thin or where weeds have already taken over – especially common in feeding areas and around gateways. Look also for high and low areas where bare patches might occur, and damage caused by pests such as rabbits and moles.

Step 2: Look below the surface: If you think there is a problem, examine soil structure. Basic nutrient tests are inexpensive and will help you understand the levels of essential elements present. Digging a hole to examine the top few inches, which are so important to the grass lifecycle, is also advisable – and doesn’t cost anything. If there are signs of compaction, use either a sward lifter or aerator to alleviate the problem. The choice of tool will depend on the depth of compaction. Shallow compaction, up to 20cms, can be corrected by slitting the field with an aerator. Deeper compaction is best treated using a sward lifter, which will lift and shatter the soil, allowing deeper root penetration and a healthier soil.

Step 3: Deal with weeds: Tackle weed grasses immediately. They are usually shallow rooted and pull out very easily. If they make up more than 40% of the sward, harrow hard to remove them. With a sward of more than 70% weed grasses, the best option is to reseed.

Step 4: Prepare the ground: If overseeding is necessary, pick a mixture designed specifically for renovation. Before seeding, harrow or rake vigorously with a spring tine or chain harrows. This can be carried out by machine or, for very small areas, by hand. The aim is to remove all dead material including shallow rooted grass and weeds in the base of the sward. Opening up the sward lets in air and light, allowing clean, fresh growth to come from the base of the plant. It also levels any molehills and highlights vulnerable parts of the field.

Step 5: Overseeding: After harrowing, use a grass mixture designed specifically for the job in hand. The best time to reseed is when the ground is moist and warm, and soil temperatures are above 8°C. The ideal window in the UK is typically between April and September when conditions allow grass seeds to germinate and grow without competing against weeds. Rolling the ground after sowing helps seed-soil contact to promote germination. Reseeding in these conditions allows the plant to develop a good root structure that is ready to spread and grow the following spring, so quickly increasing grass cover.

Once any soil structure problems have been addressed and reseeding has taken place, there is a good chance of growing a healthy grass crop. Remember that all grass will benefit from feeding with fertilisers but take care not to apply during or shortly after sowing. New plants have no roots and are unable to take up nutrients so the existing sward would be favoured, creating more competition for the new plants.

Great In Grass

Perseus festulolium Tiverton, Devon.

A crop of Perseus festulolium silage on a 90ha (220 acre) dairy farm near Tiverton in Devon, has hardly stopped growing this winter, and looks set for an early first cut if the mild weather continues.

“This 10ha (25 acre) field, which has medium soil, was reseeded quite late at the end of April last year,” says agronomist John Harris. “It was a bit of a gamble but luckily it was a tremendous grass growing year."

“The field was ploughed and power-harrowed and the Perseus, which is an Advanced Italian Ryegrass bred by DLF Trifolium, was drilled at 16kg/acre.

It was poking its head out just seven to ten days later and was cut three times – the last time being in September. It had one application of fertiliser early on, and chicken dung and slurry throughout the season. It yielded tremendously well – at one point the farmer said there was so much grass he struggled to get it through the crop with the mower!

The 180 cows on this all-grass farm are housed all year round and fed a Total Mixed Ration (TMR), so producing consistently high yields of high quality forage is crucial.

Until last year, just Italian ryegrasses had been grown for silage. But the results of observation plots drilled with four different festulolium varieties gave the farmer confidence to drill a larger area with Perseus – which performed particularly well.

“Perseus is a cross between an Italian ryegrass and a meadow fescue which produces high yields of nutritious forage and regrows vigorously after cutting,” Mr. Harris explains.

“It also has noticeably better disease resistance – last autumn when the Italian ryegrass was smothered in crown rust, the Perseus was pretty much clean.

“Perseus also has a much wider leaf than the Italians – which helps it intercept more sunlight which boosts both yield and quality.”

Photograph taken week commencing 19th January 2015

Great In Grass

New "Dairy Grazer" grass mixture for 2015,designed specifically to extend the grazing period for cows. This follows news of the market leading performance of both varieties on the Teagasc Pasture Profit Index (PPI) which ranks grass varieties according to their value in the Moorepark Dairy Systems Model – a pasture based system of milk production.

DUNLUCE, which is an intermediate heading tetraploid ryegrass, is the most profitable variety having a pasture profit index of 226 euros per hectare – over 20% ahead of its nearest rival - and TYRELLA is the most profitable late heading diploid ryegrass with a PPI of 48 euros per hectare.

The PPI comprises of: spring, mid-season and autumn grass Dry Matter (DM) production, grass quality (April to July inclusive), first & second silage DM production and persistency. It rewards those varieties that shorten winter feeding such as spring and autumn grasses so cows can be kept in the fields for longer periods.

Barenbrug were naturally delighted with how the two varieties performed in the PPI and so it seemed logical to come up with a new mixture combining the two, giving farmers the best of both worlds.

TYRELLA has the best spring growth of any late heading diploid, while DUNLUCE is not only the top yielding variety but maintains both yield and quality right through to late autumn.

Please enquire if you require further details or prices.


Great In Grass

Grass roots approach helps boost milk yields.

A seed mixture designed to maximise the grazing period for cows has contributed to an increase in profitability for Andrew and Margaret Smith, who farm 630 acres of land at Castlestead Estates in North Cumbria.

The Smiths have been trialling BarForage Dairy Grazer – a new specialist mixture from Barenbrug, a leading grass seed producer – since March 2012 to support their New Zealand-style approach to dairy farming.

Milking 420 cows near Brampton in North Cumbria, the Smiths have a grazing target of 300 days per year. Turnout is targeted for the 20th February with the cows remaining on grass until late November / early December. To ensure a good supply of lush spring grass that persists throughout the year, the Smiths have been using BarForage Dairy Grazer – a mixture of 35% DUNLUCE and 65% TYRELLA.

The ley has been developed from the market-leading performance of both varieties on the Teagasc Pasture Profit Index (PPI), which ranks grass varieties according to their value in the Moorepark Dairy Systems Model – a pasture-based system of milk production.

For the Smiths, spring grazing starts on a 40-day rotation quickly reverting to a 21 day rotation once growth equals demand. This system is stretched to 25 to 30 days in periods when drought limits growth or later in the season when growth slows. Grazing starts at a cover of around 2,800 kg of dry matter per hectare and is grazed down to around 1,500 kg in early season, which is eased to 1,600 kg in the second half of the season. The Smiths’ cows are currently producing 5,100 litres of milk of which maintenance plus 3,500 litres comes from grazed grass.

Andrew Smith said: “The New Zealand style we’ve adopted over the last 12 years makes it essential that grass is ready for an early spring turnout. We also need to ensure that cattle can graze throughout the season – right until the end of the year. BarForage Dairy Grazer has excellent resilience and remains good through autumn and into the first phase of winter – meaning we only need to start adding supplements on the shoulders of the season and when demand is greater than growth. It’s a great mixture that fits well with our pasture-based approach to milk production.”

The Smiths are first generation dairy farmers who have been managing land and livestock at Castleton Estates since 2002.

According to the Teagasc PPI, DUNLUCE – an intermediate heading tetraploid ryegrass – is the most profitable variety having a pasture profit index of 226 euros per hectare – over 20% ahead of its nearest rival. While TYRELLA is the most profitable late heading diploid ryegrass with a PPI of 48 euros per hectare. DUNLUCE and TYRELLA are suitable for use throughout England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The two varieties are combined to create BarForage Dairy Grazer, a premium seed mix that offers give maximum production at times of the year when grass is the most valuable and will form a dense, easily managed sward.

Great In Grass

It's fast approaching that time of year again to be getting unproductive grassland productive again. Fields which are looking an unhealthy shade of yellowy green, is a firm indicator of severe stress caused by poor soil structure due to the wet conditions and tramping by grazing animals. This will reduce production and persistency and cause the sward to fill up with weed grasses thereby decreasing total yields and reducing spring growth significantly.

Once this occurs, the field will rapidly come to the end of its productive life. This happens when the proportion of productive grass is less than 25%. Symptoms of poor soil structure are:
- The roots aren’t penetrating below 10cm, this also stops slurry and rainwater penetrating the soil, meaning the roots are trying to grow in a wet sludge
- 7-15 cms down below the compaction, soil is bone dry and free draining

By restricting root growth to the top 10cms, the plants access to nutrients is limited, reducing growth and favouring the growth of shallow rooted weed species like meadow grass. In a normal, healthy soil structure, the grass roots will penetrate over 30cms and the soil structure will be kept open by worms allowing slurry and rainfall to penetrate.

To renovate a field, you need to identify all the problems. Check the soil structure using a spade to see how far the roots extend into the soil.
Then to correct the compaction, if necessary, use a sward lift or slit the field.

Remove weed grasses, check for weed grasses, they are usually shallow rooted and pull out very easily. If they make up more than 30% of the sward, harrow hard to remove them.

With a sward of more than 70% weed grasses the best option is to reseed the sward.

Reintroduce productive grasses by overseeding with Patching on intensive grassland grass mixture specifically designed for renovation.

Great In Grass

Combat nitrogen loss and soil erosion on maize fields.
Grass sown as a catch crop beneath maize helps maintain your soil and your nitrogen levels – and it does so with no loss of yield.

After three years of trials in Denmark, three grass species have been isolated that thrive beneath maize. The trials also revealed the time and method of seeding that produces the best outcome.

Why sow grass beneath maize? As maize matures in late summer and early autumn, it takes in fewer nutrients. That's when you risk losing precious nitrogen to the ground water below. But not when you have a well-established catch crop of grass beneath your maize. Grass reduces the nitrogen loss and provides a level of erosion control after your maize harvest.

Which grasses? Many grasses struggle to grow in the shade cast by maize. Others grow well, but at a cost: they reduce the yield of your main crop. However, the three-year study shows that late perennial ryegrass, cocksfoot, and tall fescue all grow well without harming your yield.

Timing and method Timing your grass catch crop is essential for success. Sow too early, and you hold back the development of the maize or restrict your ability to use chemical weed controls. The following two approaches produce excellent results:

• Sow your grass at the time of the second weed control, typically when your maize has 3 to 4 leaves.
• Or sow at the time of the third weed control, when your maize has 7 to 8 leaves.

Which species and when?

You can broadcast your grass seed with a simple electric spinner, but that risks low germination levels because the seed rests on the soil surface. You get better results if you follow up with a light harrow or row tiller.

The best result comes from row seeding at a distance of 18 to 20 cm from the maize crop. The grass germinates well and competition with your maize is limited.

Create your EU Environmental Focus Area
Reforms to the EU's common agricultural policy encourage farmers to create Environmental Focus Areas (EFAs). One way to create an EFA (which must cover 5% of the arable land) is to establish spring-sown grass as a catch crop beneath your main crop – which includes maize.

The project "Reduced leaching of Nitrogen from maize by strategic use of catchcrops" was supported by the national Danish GUDP programme and has been conducted in cooperation between Aarhus University, SEGES, Thyregod Machine company, Limagrain and DLF-TRIFOLIUM.


Great In Grass

Festulolium and red clover boost forage yields by 18%
New trials in Denmark show how you can boost your forage output with a seed mixture that includes festulolium and red clover. The results are especially relevant to dry summers like the one experienced in 2014.

The trials compared our ForageMax 45 mixture with our ForageMax 35 mixture. The difference is that ForageMax 45 combines festulolium-type ryegrass and red clover with perennial ryegrass and white clover, whereas ForageMax 35 contains only perennial ryegrass and white clover. To achieve a meaningful comparison, we ran the trials at two nitrogen levels and with four or five cuts a year.

On average, ForageMax 45 yielded 18% more forage than ForageMax 35. It's worth noting, however, that ForageMax 35 has a 6% higher feed value.

*NEL20 indicates concentration of energy for lactation.
Two trials conducted at SEGES, Denmark – 1st year 2014:
Table shows results for a trial involving four cuts a year and 220 kg nitrogen per ha.




Great In Grass

Farmer reports high yields with ForageMax® in Russia
Richard Rhone is the Farm Manager at Pskov dairy farm, Dobruchi-2. Here, he explains how he's increasing his forage yields at his farm in the west of Russia, near the border with Estonia.

"In spring 2013, we planted 24 ha of CutMax Original with red clover, festulolium and other grass species. The mixture produced a significant yield in year 1. In 2014, it produced five cuts (four for silage and one for green mass around 10 May). In total it gave us some 28 tonnes per ha of fresh material.

In 2014, we also planted some 280 ha of pure grass mixture specially created by DLF. It contained 69% festulolium HYKOR (tall fescue type) and standard CutMax Original red clover/grass mixtures. Many of them were spring sown with a small amount in autumn. Yields from these fields were excellent – around 6 to 7 tonnes per ha – with the clamped material testing 19% crude protein and 10.5 ME (energy units). Milk yield has improved with the use of this silage.

For next year, we plan to sow 100 ha of Alfa Super plus another 200 ha of DLF varieties. This means that most of our grass silage will be made from DLF varieties. That will help us reach our target of 20.000 tonnes of silage a year. In 2013 we produced 13.000 tonnes, and in 2014, 15.500 tonnes."


Great In Grass


Is your grass field ready for a new season?

After a hard winter, it's time to put your sward in order – and the earlier you start, the better. As soon as the soil temperature rises above 4 to 6 degrees, grass starts to grow again. You see the signs in the roots first, as new white shoots appear. Not long after, you should be able to spot new green shoots above ground. That's the vital sign of a good healthy growth to come.

But winter may well have degraded your grass. Hard frosts and repeated freezing and thawing can destroy grass plants. The risk is greatest in older grass fields, in fields containing a surplus of nitrogen, and in fields cut too close to the ground at the end of the previous season.

So here's our quick guide to giving your grass a spring check, together with tips on how to repair any damage.


Do you have enough living plants?

Fields for cutting: Check for 15 to 25 living plants – grass or clover – in each running metre seed row.

Fields for grazing: Check for 30 to 40 living plants – grass or clover – in each running metre seed row.

Look for bare patches. If they're bigger than your footprint, you should take action. Patches that size are a warning that you've lost enough grass plants to affect your yield. Your choices are to sow a new ley or to overseed.

Sowing a new grass ley The most radical solution is to plough your field and sow afresh. But that could be an opportunity to choose a better seed mixture – one that's just right for your soil, climate, and farming methods. Grass science is moving forward all the time, creating more efficient, high-yielding grasses.

Overseeding The most common way to repair winter damage is to overseed. Early treatment with the right equipment is essential.

Our helpful video shows you how to get the best from overseeding

Great In Grass

Silage tips from Barenbrug UK Ltd;
Monitoring soil fertility is crucial for good grass silage quality and yields for example, every tonne of 30% DM silage made removes over 2kg P over 7kg K which needs replacing.

Short term mixtures maximise yields, but they need to be managed. Italian ryegrasses will give you 20% more forage than a perennial ryegrass in the first 18 months; however, it needs cutting every four to eight weeks. Hybrid ryegrasses strike more of a balance lasting around four to five years and yielding 10% more than perennial leys. Hybrids grow at temperatures as low as 5°C and are not as extreme as Italians, but will still require frequent cutting. Generally high silage yields require high fertility so fertiliser or slurry applications can be well utilised. An alternative is to companion with red or white clover. The other benefit of using clovers is the increased protein levels.

As grass matures, yields increase but quality drops so using mixtures with a tight heading date pattern allows much easier management, optimum yields per cut and more consistent quality silage to be made. Target dry matters for pit silage are around 30% whilst baled silage needs to be drier at around 40%. A good silage should be around 70D value, 11ME and 14% CP - however, this will depend on intended use.

Quality is also very dependent on the grass used, presence or absence of clover and the weather.
Link to Barenbrug silage mixtures:

We love grass.jpg

Great In Grass

Managing grassland for sheep means you need to monitor the following areas:

Soil test and address any surface compaction regularly. Sheep generally only cause compaction in the top few inches, but this is enough to reduce root development and subsequent growth and nutrient uptake. Soil fertility is hugely important, a drop from pH 6 to 5.5 will incur a loss of at least 4% of grass yield.

Keep grassland short (between 4cm and 10cm) to maximise intake and optimise quality. Short leafy spring grass can have an ME of 11.5 MJ/kgDM and a CP level of over 25%, which is superior nutritionally and financially compared to concentrate.

Adding white clover increases intake by up to 30%. It is highly digestible, has a broad mineral content and is higher in protein than grass. White clover ‘fixes’ up to 150kg N/ha/annum, reducing reliance on Nitrogen input.

Consider other species for sheep grazing. Timothy, cocksfoot and tall fescue are ideal as they grow earlier in spring and later in autumn, lengthening the productive time on the farm. These species also perform well with clover. Avoid all red clover six weeks pre tupping and until six weeks after tupping due to the production of phyto-estrogens. It is however, ideal for finishing lambs.
Some mixtures suitable for sheep:

Great In Grass

Whichever part of the beef production chain you are involved in, the key to profitability is the effective management of good quality grass and clover swards.

Dry matter intake (DMI) requirement of animals is generally around 2-3% of bodyweight, depending on the stage of production and grazing quality.

A successful grazing system very much depends on keeping good quality grass in front of the animals. Indicators of good feed quality include little or no seed heads, high clover content (greater than 30%), high proportion of leaf and low stem content, and low levels of dead matter at the base of the sward.

For finishing animals, a 500kg steer aiming for 1kg DLWG would need more than 750kg additional concentrate over a five month finishing period if he was fed 60D silage instead of 70D silage.
Some mixtures suitable for beef production:

Great In Grass

Managing grassland for dairy cows means you need to provide them with upright, dense swards of palatable grass to maximise their daily intakes. Daily grazing intake depends on the amount of time spent grazing, the biting rate and the amount taken in the bite, which in turn depends on the characteristics of the sward.

Dense growing, leafy grasses with minimal stem and good spring and autumn growth will ensure the dairy cows have sufficient quality grass throughout the grazing season.

Our BarForage mixtures offer dense growing swards to minimise poaching during periods of wet weather, leafy quality grass with little or no stem or seed heads and a quality bite that will fulfil and maintain the hunger drive of dairy cows.

High quality silage is always key to a successful winter feed regime for dairy cows. Consideration must be given to the heading dates of the sward, enabling the grass to be at its best when harvesting begins.

Swards heading in mid May that are not cut until June will provide stemmy hard silage with little or no feed value. Whether you are aiming for a two, three or four cut system, BarForage has an ideal mixture for you.
Dairy grass mixtures:

Great In Grass

A perfect mixture for extended grazing, "Long Season" one of our biggest sellers.

The concept
LONG SEASON has been designed to give the maximum yield over the longest possible growing season, producing forage at the times of year it is most useful.

Long Season is an extremely flexible, persistent, long term ley that can be both cut and grazed as required. Designed for use in England & Wales.

  • The varieties are selected to give a palatable and responsive sward with excellent persistency
  • The high tetraploid content is in line with the latest research from Moorepark
  • Includes MOYOLA, with spring growth of 126% of control varieties
  • The inclusion of COMER timothy increases spring growth by 34% and persistence under more extreme conditions
How to manage and get the most out of it
  • Spring grass is extremely valuable as it replaces expensive feed or silage. Long Season has been designed to provide exceptional spring growth, the time of year when grass is most valuable
  • Long Season also grows well into the autumn, making it ideal for those who want to maximise production from grass
  • Early spring grazing can be followed by two high quality silage cuts and aftermath grazing or season long grazing
  • It is ideal for early turnout or lambing thanks to its exceptional spring growth
In the bag;
3.00Kg Ideal - Late Perennial Ryegrass (TET)
3.00Kg Moyola - Early Perennial Ryegrass (DIP)
2.50Kg Boyne - Intermediate Perennial Ryegrass (DIP)
2.00Kg Tyrella - Late Perennial Ryegrass (DIP)
2.00Kg Seagoe - Intermediate perennial ryegrass (TET)
1.00Kg Ensign - White clover blend
0.50Kg Comer - Timothy

Please PM for a quote. :)
Last edited:

Forum statistics

Latest member

Report shows environment subsidies provide more stable income than direct payments

  • 54
  • 0

Written by Charlotte Cunningham

Subsidies paid to farmers for protecting the environment lead to more stable incomes compared with payments based purely on the number of ha being farmed, according to a new study of farms in England and Wales. Charlotte Cunningham reports. The research, from Rothamsted Research, the University of Reading and Newcastle University, also shows that farmers shouldn’t put all their eggs in one basket, as those diversifying into a wider variety of crops or livestock receive more consistent year-to-year incomes – as do those who reduce their use of fertiliser and pesticides. Lead author and PhD student, Caroline Harkness said: “Farmers are facing increasing pressures due...