Forage crop ideas for late sowing

Keepers

Member
Location
South West
Good afternoon,

Currently planning which winter forage crops are being planted and into which fields, majority will be turnip/rape mix.
However I have a small plot (64ha) which is following spring barley, if the weather is great it will be off end of August, but it’s looking more like will be ready beginning of September.
Last year we had a few forage crops not do so well being planted this late (obviously)
Cotswold brash, 700ft up

Ideally would like something with plenty of bulk, did have forage rye last year but didn’t get the bulk we were looking for.
doesn’t matter if it’s slower to get going as the ground will only be cultivated in April so sheep can run on it for later.

Any ideas of crop/mix?

thanks
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
Nothing will grow over winter like forage rye as I understand it, but it’s an expensive ‘something and nothing’ crop drilled late on imo.

I put 17ac of stubble turnips in after SB last year, with the intention of having a high protein bite for ewes coming off fodder beet, 3-4 weeks pre-lambing. Obviously it doesn’t grow much root, but the tops start growing well from late-Feb (probably earlier down there).

DD a fiver’s worth of seed per acre, broadcast 1 cwt/ac of Nitrogen fert, then shut the gate until March.

I’ll be doing the same this year, on ground destined for beet next year.
 

Great In Grass

Member
Location
Cornwall.
Grass? A 50/50 mix of IRG & Westerwolds.

The correct varieties can grow in down to 3°C soil temperature and will utilise the nutrients that are available in the soil even aftera dry summer. They have the ability to make use of existing nutrients in the soil after the previous crop soaking up N, thus decreasing winter leaching.
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
Incidentally, a neighbour that has just established a sheep flock on his arable farm, drilled Rye/winter Vetch mix after Winter Wheat last year for wintering his ewes.

They weren’t long getting over it, so couldn’t have been much bulk there.
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
o_O The majority of farms over here would be smaller than that never mind their ‘small plot’ :ROFLMAO:

That’s the case in a lot of livestock areas.

Of course @Keepers will now come out with something like “size doesn’t matter” to make us feel better, while inwardly smiling about the scale of the ‘small plot’ available to her.😢
 

DanM

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Wiltshire
Grass? A 50/50 mix of IRG & Westerwolds.

The correct varieties can grow in down to 3°C soil temperature and will utilise the nutrients that are available in the soil even aftera dry summer. They have the ability to make use of existing nutrients in the soil after the previous crop soaking up N, thus decreasing winter leaching.

so sown first week of September, when would you be able to graze? Is this cheaper than rye? Would seed cost not make this a non starter, given you’ve got to be off it end of March for spraying to allow early April cultivation?
 

Great In Grass

Member
Location
Cornwall.
so sown first week of September, when would you be able to graze? Is this cheaper than rye? Would seed cost not make this a non starter, given you’ve got to be off it end of March for spraying to allow early April cultivation?
Graze around 8-10 weeks. It will be considerably cheaper than forage rye.

However, after reading the OP again it probably won't be ready to be cut by the end of March therefore not reaching its full potential
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
Graze around 8-10 weeks. It will be considerably cheaper than forage rye.

However, after reading the OP again it probably won't be ready to be cut by the end of March therefore not reaching its full potential

I suspect the only ‘cutting’ the OP will be doing, is with the sheep’s teeth.;)

Westerwold/IRG would certainly be my preference before Rye. It will get a good start from a September sowing, grow slowly through the winter, then start growing proper in February most years. By March, growth will take some keeping up with ime.👍
 

Great In Grass

Member
Location
Cornwall.
I suspect the only ‘cutting’ the OP will be doing, is with the sheep’s teeth.;)

Westerwold/IRG would certainly be my preference before Rye. It will get a good start from a September sowing, grow slowly through the winter, then start growing proper in February most years. By March, growth will take some keeping up with ime.👍
I don't know where I got the 'cuttng' from the brain is a bit fried tonight after a week of chasing stubble turnip seed. ;)
 

Electricfencer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Cotswolds
Incidentally, a neighbour that has just established a sheep flock on his arable farm, drilled Rye/winter Vetch mix after Winter Wheat last year for wintering his ewes.

They weren’t long getting over it, so couldn’t have been much bulk there.
We had 60 acres of rye and vetch grown before maize for grazing ewe hoggs on last winter, Didn't look much of a crop but grow into them, the field was split into 6 and we moved them every 3 days.
The sheep got massive out there but don't think it paid because he isn't keen to do it again this year.
 

Ashtree

Member
Good afternoon,

Currently planning which winter forage crops are being planted and into which fields, majority will be turnip/rape mix.
However I have a small plot (64ha) which is following spring barley, if the weather is great it will be off end of August, but it’s looking more like will be ready beginning of September.
Last year we had a few forage crops not do so well being planted this late (obviously)
Cotswold brash, 700ft up

Ideally would like something with plenty of bulk, did have forage rye last year but didn’t get the bulk we were looking for.
doesn’t matter if it’s slower to get going as the ground will only be cultivated in April so sheep can run on it for later.

Any ideas of crop/mix?

thanks

Bloody hell. Just off the tractor now @ 7am, having broadcast grass seed on 3 acres. Feeling chuffed I was, until I saw your note on your 64ha “small” plot. 🤣🤣🤣.
Her indoors will roll the seed in for me later this morning, while I head off to the day job to help pay for the seed and fertiliser.
 

andybk

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Mendips Somerset
Incidentally, a neighbour that has just established a sheep flock on his arable farm, drilled Rye/winter Vetch mix after Winter Wheat last year for wintering his ewes.

They weren’t long getting over it, so couldn’t have been much bulk there.
I grazed similar last winter , not much bulk in it , cold autumn didnt help ,vetch was there but very small , there were oats put in some fields , but landlord didnt like that as quite a bit came up in following cereal crops ,
Keepers put in quite a bit of raddish and kale (thousand head type ) late that came well by spring .
Was told (on here ) quite a good take putting clover in with last fert application on cereals (in spring) will sit there shaded under canopy ready to go after harvest , then dd drill in some rape hybrids over it for feed later on
 
Last edited:
Location
Ceredigion
Just be aware that if you introduce Annual Ryegrass it can be more difficult to kill after and will need burning off , Rye although more expensive will grow at lower temperatures when sown later
When planting later it's a better option to plant a mix , no one knows what the autumn weather will be like but planting a mix gives options , don't put all your eggs in one so to speak
 
Last edited:

Keepers

Member
Location
South West
Incidentally, a neighbour that has just established a sheep flock on his arable farm, drilled Rye/winter Vetch mix after Winter Wheat last year for wintering his ewes.

They weren’t long getting over it, so couldn’t have been much bulk there.

Last year we did rye, and then one field of rye/vetch mix and it really didn’t last long at all, they very quick going over it, regrowth would have been more than a bulky turnip type obviously but the cold wind across the cotswolds and then the snow sort of out a stop to that (n)

I also question the palatability of forage rye? It seemed that every time I moved them onto the next block instead of rushing to graze the fresh crop like they did on rape/turnips/kale they would run across it to get to the margins and eat the crap grass first.
And never looked very full on it, they did better once they had moved off and onto poor quality grass :scratchhead:
 

Keepers

Member
Location
South West
That’s the case in a lot of livestock areas.

Of course @Keepers will now come out with something like “size doesn’t matter” to make us feel better, while inwardly smiling about the scale of the ‘small plot’ available to her.😢

o_O The majority of farms over here would be smaller than that never mind their ‘small plot’ :ROFLMAO:

Sorry :LOL::ROFLMAO: maybe shouldn’t have said small plot, instead it’s the smallER plot for winter grazing.... if that makes it any better
:ROFLMAO:



Don’t worry... we all know size really doesn’t matter :censored:
 

LIVE - DEFRA SFI Janet Hughes “ask me anything” 19:00-20:00 20th September (Today)

  • 12,035
  • 115
Hello, I’m Janet Hughes. I’m the Programme Director for the Future Farming and Countryside Programme in Defra – the programme that’s phasing out the Common Agricultural Policy and introducing new schemes and services for farmers.



Today (20 September) between 7pm-8pm, I and some of my colleagues will be answering your questions about our work including the Sustainable Farming Incentive, Farming in Protected Landscapes, and our test and trials.



We’ll try to answer at least 15 of your top voted questions, so please vote on the questions you’d most like me to answer.



You can read more about our Future Farming policy on our blog.



I’ve answered some of your questions previously: you can watch the videos on...
Top