Summer grazing cover/forage crop

beardface

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
East Yorkshire
Anyone grazing sheep on annual summer cover crops? Thinking a mix with say rye, ryegrass, 2 or 3 annual clovers, phacelia, vetch and a brassica with regrowth could be a good mix. Stock it at over 5 ewes and lambs to acre rotational grazed. Could be a good alternative arable 'crop' with benefits of soil conditioning, n fixation. Key being to keep it in a vegetative state.
 

Great In Grass

Member
Location
Cornwall.
Anyone grazing sheep on annual summer cover crops? Thinking a mix with say rye, ryegrass, 2 or 3 annual clovers, phacelia, vetch and a brassica with regrowth could be a good mix. Stock it at over 5 ewes and lambs to acre rotational grazed. Could be a good alternative arable 'crop' with benefits of soil conditioning, n fixation. Key being to keep it in a vegetative state.
Forget the Ryegrass a mix we sell a great amount of which would suit you contains Spring Vetch, Buckwheat, Crimson Clover, Fodder Radish, Daikon Radish, Egyptian Clover, White Mustard & Phacelia.

Fast-growing producing a large amount of biomass with a mixture of rooting depths the fibrous root system helps condition the soil and help retain any residual nutrients.
 

Great In Grass

Member
Location
Cornwall.
With a 15% inclusion rate of Buckwheat the mix I quoted will not cause fagopyrism in sheep.

Buckwheat can grow in very dry conditions, fixes nitrogen in the soil, and is very palatable to sheep an ideal species to include in a summer forage crop.
 
Location
Ceredigion
Personaly I would not include something that can cause Liver Damage no matter how small
@JD-Kidd has experienced problems with it i believe
There are vast amounts of things that can be included in cover crops so why take the risk
 

Great In Grass

Member
Location
Cornwall.
Personaly I would not include something that can cause Liver Damage no matter how small
@JD-Kidd has experienced problems with it i believe
There are vast amounts of things that can be included in cover crops so why take the risk
Liver damage? Do you know what fagopyrism is? Its skin hypersensitivity a form of sunburn.

I not heard of one instance from any one of my customers and that is many acres!
 
Location
Ceredigion
This is intended as an annual crop, seems expensive for what it is? What is wrong with kale. Good break between grass leys?
A cover crop is a crop you grow for the soil, instead of for your plate
So suppose that explains it without going into detail, but to improve soil structure and fertility, some do use sheep at the end to terminate it
 

Great In Grass

Member
Location
Cornwall.
I guess the OP has more in mind than just feeding his sheep a brassica.

If his aim is to maintain and developing soil fertility with the possible saving of fertiliser inputs and reducing the need for tillage then Kale is not going to do the trick.

Many of my customers have also commented on the increase in water quality when using a cover crop.

A cover crop mixture with its different species provides varying depths of roots which help condition the soil while still being able to provide a grazeable forage.
 

beardface

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
East Yorkshire
It's more of a thinking out loud exercise at the moment. The aim being a forage/cover crop, which both feeds the stock and the soil. With a good root mass. To use as an alternative to osr or spring cropping in certain situations. Thinking either spring sown early April, to begin grazing round mid to late May. Or sow rye/ ryegrass into autumn then overseed with annuals, plus a forage brassica for better feed value, in spring.
 
Location
Ceredigion
It's more of a thinking out loud exercise at the moment. The aim being a forage/cover crop, which both feeds the stock and the soil. With a good root mass. To use as an alternative to osr or spring cropping in certain situations. Thinking either spring sown early April, to begin grazing round mid to late May. Or sow rye/ ryegrass into autumn then overseed with annuals, plus a forage brassica for better feed value, in spring.
Are you OK with Brasica and OSR
 
Location
Ceredigion
It's more of a thinking out loud exercise at the moment. The aim being a forage/cover crop, which both feeds the stock and the soil. With a good root mass. To use as an alternative to osr or spring cropping in certain situations. Thinking either spring sown early April, to begin grazing round mid to late May. Or sow rye/ ryegrass into autumn then overseed with annuals, plus a forage brassica for better feed value, in spring.
Bit hard to unders your post . If you sow in April you cant graze in May unless its the following year . Rye would one of the best for root mass and returning nitrogen as are short term clovers both feed well but the clovers don't winter so well
 

Devon James

Member
Location
Devon
 

beardface

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
East Yorkshire
Mid May graze a bit optimistic then. Idea is to sow a whole of stuff and rotational graze ewes and lambs then just lambs. As stuff dies out other things come through. So just grazing a huge amount of biomass. Thinking if it's kept vegetative rather than running to flower/head the destroyed, like most cover crops, it will create more bebefit below ground.
 
Location
Ceredigion
cover crop trial at Redhouse Farm involved three main areas:

  • • Un-grazed vetch oats and phacelia
  • • Grazed forage rape, rye and vetch
  • • Grazed stubble turnip, forage rye and turnip rape.


The grazed areas were both 2.5ha blocks, fenced off with electric fencing, and grazed by 100 ewes over the whole 5ha area. All cover crops were desiccated with glyphosate in early March.

Farmacy agronomist Rebecca Creasey said that while grazing effectively terminated the cover crops, poaching and shallow compaction around tracks and water troughs was an issue on the heavier soils last winter, exacerbated by the site’s high water table.

Careful timing to avoid grazing in very wet conditions and a more intensive, “short, sharp” grazing regime could have helped overcome the poaching issues, she suggested. More use of strip grazing, where sheep are restricted to certain parts of the field until cover is cleared before being moved on to a fresh area, was of particular interest.

“The ideal would be to have more sheep, say 500-600 ewes, per 5ha area for 5-7days maximum before being moved on to ensure even grazing without poaching.

“If that’s not possible, strip grazing fewer sheep on a smaller area, say 100 ewes on 1ha, could help get the same effect.”

Miss Cannon said grazing could occur at any time providing conditions allowed, although post-winter was most common, and after 15th January if cover was an Ecological Focus Area (EFA) mix.



Species selection

Careful consideration must be given to species and varietal selection for any cover crop mix, especially if planning to graze with sheep, Miss Cannon advised.

Buckwheat for example, was poisonous to sheep, while phacelia was undesirable to sheep although they would still eat it, she said.

“In the past stubble turnips have traditionally be used in grazing mixes, but that won’t necessarily work in a short, intensive grazing system, as there isn’t always enough time for sheep to eat the roots before they’re moved on.”

She preferred a three-way mix based on legumes and cereals. “Cereals are quick to establish, give good top growth for grazing and have fibrous roots that benefit the soil. Regrowth also provides extra grazing material.

“Legumes offer excellent root anchorage and nitrogen fixation for the soil, and are also a good source of protein for grazing animals.
 

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
Mid May graze a bit optimistic then. Idea is to sow a whole of stuff and rotational graze ewes and lambs then just lambs. As stuff dies out other things come through. So just grazing a huge amount of biomass. Thinking if it's kept vegetative rather than running to flower/head the destroyed, like most cover crops, it will create more bebefit below ground.
Raphno, vetch, triticale and crimson/arrowleaf clover works well as a mix.
Put a bit of that about as a "try this on a bit" for a few locals and it's gone well for them, also chucked some leafy turnip in and didn't tell anyone, made the phone ring as one chap thought it was foxgloves coming up 🙄🤣

Fert has ranged from zero to about 125kg/ha DAP depending on where and what it was like, been a tricky season down here for summer and winter crop establishment, especially some of the cultivated stuff has done poorly.
But the multispecies, "something will grow" type of mix seems to shine when it's not a good year and it's even more valuable if you can get those lambs away sooner than later
 

AGCO reports sales increase of 43.5% compared to 2020 figures

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Written by Agriland Team from Agriland

The tractor manufacturer AGCO, which consists of brands such as Challenger, Fendt, GSI, Massey Ferguson and Valtra, reported its results for the second quarter ending June 30, 2021.

Net sales for the second quarter were approximately $2.9 billion, an increase of approximately 43.5% compared to the second quarter of 2020.

AEM

Reported net income was $3.73/share for the second quarter of 2021, and adjusted...
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