Grazed break crop

IEM

Member
Location
Essex
Trying to work out a grazing mix that works for finishing livestock and is attractive to arable farmers as a break crop.
Interested to know thoughts on -length of time (1/2/3 years?)
-priorities for arable farmer (fertility/weed control/cash)
-dates (establishment/termination).

My guess if from the arable farmers point of view they will want a 1 year break that reduces blackgrass, builds fertility and pays, but where is the balance of priorities?
 

IEM

Member
Location
Essex
No but blackgrass isn’t the sole driver in everyone’s decision making. There’s no magic bullet with blackgrass but this could be part of the puzzle and take pressure off of chemistry/other cultural controls.
 

Badshot

Member
Location
Kent
A nice legume / herbal ley would be great.
As long as it doesn't contain anything that's in, or closely related to , anything that's already grown.
But financially it'll be difficult.
Who's picking up the costs for seed and establishment?
Paid per head grazed? Or an acreage payment?
 

HarryB97

Member
Mixed Farmer
We work on 3-4 years for our leys depending on how the leys looking and what fields are coming in or going out fo grass. I would go for a crop like Lucerne or a red clover and ryegrass ley. You can take multiple cuts of silage which will tackle the weed issue better than grazing and then can be grazed afterwards by lambs and easily electric fenced. Herbal leys don't lend them selves to silage as well and can easily get away from sheep and the rules regarding cattle and tb etc makes grazing them more of a pain when they are not on your own holding. Lucerne and Red clover are also deep rooting and fix lots of nitrogen. We are on heavy land and grow a fair bit of red clover it's great when there's plenty of moisture about but the last two years has really struggled, despite the deep roots I think because it is so vigourous it burns itself out as quick as the grasses do, will be trying some lucerne next time. If I was the stock farmer I would rent the ground off the arable farmer for a lower than normal rate due to all the benefits off the grass and daily stock checks etc taking more time but have in the agreement that all P & K etc needs replacing after silage cuts.
 

IEM

Member
Location
Essex
I have 2 year GS4 herbal leys at home which work well. The hurdle I haven’t crossed yet is getting leys onto other people’s farms (just get the PP/aftermath). No one wants to commit for the 5 years of a CSS even if there is another £300/ha/year in the pot. The idea of having a crop in for more than a year is also totally alien to farmers who have only ever known arable.
I think a 1 year plantain/red/white clover ley would be an excellent fertility builder/soil conditioner and could pay a rent which would probably pay better than an average crop of beans.
Would use for finishing lambs and could probably grow a lot of lamb per ha. Would need some over winter crops as well probably e.g cover crops or stubble turnips.
Arable farmers would you seriously consider this as part of your rotation and what rent would you expect?
 

teslacoils

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lincolnshire
Boot on other foot - I'd let a stock farmer take 100ac plus on a three year grass ley with as much digestate as they want under nvz rules. Mowing only.

Stockman adds extra npk to cover offtake. I'd want it back in winter for sheep to graze tight.

What's that worth? How about if it's after winter barley and I Chuck in the straw so there's no whining about getting it established well? Yard space for storage of wrapped bales at extra cost.

I get £450 a hectare plus sub for legume fallow which just gets mulched as a comparison.
 

Flat 10

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Fen Edge
I have 2 year GS4 herbal leys at home which work well. The hurdle I haven’t crossed yet is getting leys onto other people’s farms (just get the PP/aftermath). No one wants to commit for the 5 years of a CSS even if there is another £300/ha/year in the pot. The idea of having a crop in for more than a year is also totally alien to farmers who have only ever known arable.
I think a 1 year plantain/red/white clover ley would be an excellent fertility builder/soil conditioner and could pay a rent which would probably pay better than an average crop of beans.
Would use for finishing lambs and could probably grow a lot of lamb per ha. Would need some over winter crops as well probably e.g cover crops or stubble turnips.
Arable farmers would you seriously consider this as part of your rotation and what rent would you expect?
I think it would be fair (from solely an arable farmers point of view) for you to look at john nix and get an idea of the margins arable farmers are making (or not) from their break crops. Remember Essex is suffering from CSFB pretty badly. As an arable farmer I would be keen to form some sort of partnership with a grazier.
 

teslacoils

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lincolnshire
I have 2 year GS4 herbal leys at home which work well. The hurdle I haven’t crossed yet is getting leys onto other people’s farms (just get the PP/aftermath). No one wants to commit for the 5 years of a CSS even if there is another £300/ha/year in the pot.

Noone wants the risk that after five years they wouldn't let you plough it up.
 

IEM

Member
Location
Essex
Boot on other foot - I'd let a stock farmer take 100ac plus on a three year grass ley with as much digestate as they want under nvz rules. Mowing only.

Stockman adds extra npk to cover offtake. I'd want it back in winter for sheep to graze tight.

What's that worth? How about if it's after winter barley and I Chuck in the straw so there's no whining about getting it established well? Yard space for storage of wrapped bales at extra cost.

I get £450 a hectare plus sub for legume fallow which just gets mulched as a comparison.

Sounds pretty useful for someone but for me I am looking for something solely for grazing as don’t house sheep and only feed bales if really in a muddle (graze aftermath/cover crops over winter). For a 3 year ley I would establish and pay £200/ha/year you can keep the straw and sub. Doesn’t stack up too well against your legume fallow although obviously you have to establish/maintain that!
 

IEM

Member
Location
Essex
Noone wants the risk that after five years they wouldn't let you plough it up.
Can be rotational doesn’t have to be the same field for 5 years. I have floated the idea of 2 year leys with a few farmers, people are keen but don’t want to do CSS or are already in it
 

IEM

Member
Location
Essex
I think it would be fair (from solely an arable farmers point of view) for you to look at john nix and get an idea of the margins arable farmers are making (or not) from their break crops. Remember Essex is suffering from CSFB pretty badly. As an arable farmer I would be keen to form some sort of partnership with a grazier.

Personally I can’t make beans pay, peas sometimes fantastic but sometimes disastrous OSR very risky and not that exciting even when it goes well. Oats ok but not a proper break. GS4 leys grazed blow them all out of the water in terms of profits and reliability and build a heap of fertility which most land round here is crying out for.
If I could make a partenership with someone locally I’d be keen. With GS4 income 10 ewes/ha should pay £700/ha before rent cost and sub income which compares very well to any break crops in any CFA I have been involved with. May pay better and be simpler to manage if just used as a finishing crop.
 

Flat 10

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Fen Edge
Personally I can’t make beans pay, peas sometimes fantastic but sometimes disastrous OSR very risky and not that exciting even when it goes well. Oats ok but not a proper break. GS4 leys grazed blow them all out of the water in terms of profits and reliability and build a heap of fertility which most land round here is crying out for.
If I could make a partenership with someone locally I’d be keen. With GS4 income 10 ewes/ha should pay £700/ha before rent cost and sub income which compares very well to any break crops in any CFA I have been involved with. May pay better and be simpler to manage if just used as a finishing crop.
sign me up
 

teslacoils

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lincolnshire
Sounds pretty useful for someone but for me I am looking for something solely for grazing as don’t house sheep and only feed bales if really in a muddle (graze aftermath/cover crops over winter). For a 3 year ley I would establish and pay £200/ha/year you can keep the straw and sub. Doesn’t stack up too well against your legume fallow although obviously you have to establish/maintain that!

I think £80 an acre on top of sub would be a winner. Locally for silage on a similar system works out at around £30 a cut for three cuts plus sub. I'd be surprised if you couldn't find some willing arable folk at that. The downside is of course that grazing means beasts and beasts means waking up to a garden of beasts! I live in the land of 50ac fields and no hedges etc. You'd probably not find this sort of clay suitable for any stock to be stood on in winter.
 

Mixedupfarmer

Member
Location
Norfolk
I think £80 an acre on top of sub would be a winner. Locally for silage on a similar system works out at around £30 a cut for three cuts plus sub. I'd be surprised if you couldn't find some willing arable folk at that. The downside is of course that grazing means beasts and beasts means waking up to a garden of beasts! I live in the land of 50ac fields and no hedges etc. You'd probably not find this sort of clay suitable for any stock to be stood on in winter.
I'm not so sure, its only £200/ha for three years, and I know the arable farm will save a fair few fixed costs, but even so I would have thought three spring crops of any type would earn more than that? We run a mixed farm, and have done some figures on a similar line, and at the time thought £200/ha was the maximum we could pay for a sheep grass ley on other peoples land, and concluded that it wasn't going to be enough to tempt farms to tie up land for 3 or 4 years. If the farmer could put his field(s) into GS4 or similar, it would be more viable financially
 

spin cycle

Member
Location
north norfolk
in a blackgrass situation i wonder if fodder beet grazed in situ would be a decent idea.....early on you can kill blackgrass quite easily....then, as grazed, the constant shallow foot churning chit/kill the blackgrass thru autumn/winter....problem is cash....expensive to grow but not a lotta money in sheep
 

Mixedupfarmer

Member
Location
Norfolk
in a blackgrass situation i wonder if fodder beet grazed in situ would be a decent idea.....early on you can kill blackgrass quite easily....then, as grazed, the constant shallow foot churning chit/kill the blackgrass thru autumn/winter....problem is cash....expensive to grow but not a lotta money in sheep
If it was bad black grass may be difficult to establish the beet without black grass getting away and seeding before the beet were big enough to graze? Land light enough to graze fodder beet in situ would probably not be too bad for black grass as would be drier? From an arable farmers point of view probably be more £ sugar beet followed by spring barley? If near a factory or digester.
 

Badshot

Member
Location
Kent
in a blackgrass situation i wonder if fodder beet grazed in situ would be a decent idea.....early on you can kill blackgrass quite easily....then, as grazed, the constant shallow foot churning chit/kill the blackgrass thru autumn/winter....problem is cash....expensive to grow but not a lotta money in sheep
That actually is almost exactly how I think having sheep grazing can help BG, and other weeds.
Constant grazing, chitting it over a longer period than just a couple cultivations.
The challenge is how to do it and be able to establish a crop after, it can look like the Somme after sheep sometimes.
 

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Man fined £300 for bonfire-related waste offences

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

court-640x360.jpg
A man has pleaded guilty at Newtownards Magistrates’ Court to waste offences relating to a bonfire next to the electrical sub-station on the Circular Road in Newtownards, Co. Down.

Gareth Gill (51) of Abbot’s Walk, Newtownards pleaded guilty to two charges under the Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1997, for which he was fined £150 each and ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy

On June 25, 2018, PSNI officers went to Gill’s yard, where they found a large amount of waste consisting of scrap wood, pallets, carpet and underlay.

Discussion with Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) officers confirmed the site...
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