Red and sheep don’t go well….. they just kill it. Sheep men with lambs to fatten won’t tell you that though.
rotation, and soil structure, are what has been forgotten, in the age of cheap fert, and sprays.Grass silage can be high protein anyway so it is sort of academic having clover which shows a bit higher in CP in an analysis.
I would not grow continuous clover any more than I would continuous grass- after a number of years the weed grasses creep in and it becomes expensive to be throwing nitrogen at them when they don't grow half as much as actual sown species.
Rotation is important and everyone's grandad knew it. Roots, kale or a cereal crop between leys and legumes always pays.
my 3 cuts this year are 14.5,15.5,15.5 for protein which is spot on for me finishing cattlered clover is brilliant, but has faults, major one being v wilt, which means you cannot grow continually, in same field. The other fault, is it is rather open in the sward bottom, which is why we are trying the 'wild' small leaf clover, to thicken up the bottom.
As clovers are a bit slow to get going, in the spring, which restricts 1st cut, and as you cannot keep growing red, without a break, we are looking at other clovers, currently have balsana overseeded into older pasture, which we cannot plough, it's germinated, so, as it's meant to grow earlier than others, it will be interesting to see what happens, the aim, is to improve quality of 1st cut, and some free N.
N fert, is highly unlikely to go much under £400, again, ( my view) so anything to increase free N, protein for feeding, isn't going to be overly cheap, again, so high protein crops, are also very important, both can have a positive effect on the bottom line.
Last year, and this, we have 32 acres, of cutting only leys, some red, some white clovers, and cut x5, probably could/should, have taken a 6th, on them. The rest of the silage, dual purpose/herbs clover etc, only pitted, if right growth stage. All face samples of pit, are around 16%p.
just wonder, how far we can go, along these lines.
the problem is quite simple, we were encouraged to 'improve' yields etc, with cheap fert and sprays, and have become acclimatised to thinking they are THE way to do things.my 3 cuts this year are 14.5,15.5,15.5 for protein which is spot on for me finishing cattle
and i share your views on fert prices