Opportunity To Improve Milk From Forage

Most farmers aim to improve their forage use efficiency in their dairy diets, but many don’t have a specific plan. Any plan to increase milk from forage has to begin with renewing worn or older, poorer performing grass leys to improve quantity and quality forage as basis of the cow diet. Never has it been more important to grow and use more forage with current high concentrate prices.

With a plentiful grass supply and a wet first half of August forecast, this is the ideal autumn to reseed surplus grazing and silage areas with newer leys.

Estimates vary but new reseeds should grow in the region of 20- 40% more grass and importantly a lot of this extra growth will occur in the spring and autumn. Increased animal performance, improved responsiveness to Nitrogen and a great opportunity to tackle weeds are all important additional benefits. However at roughly £200/acre, it represents a significant investment, while also been without the field for between 5-8 weeks. Thus the importance of a successful reseed is vital.

The most important fields are the grazing ones but sadly the most neglected as farmers don’t measure the grass output. A farmer recently grazed his cows on a new ley sown this spring and got a 10% increase in milk yield, worth a £125/day for a 200 cow herd. So, consider re-seeding grazing paddocks as well as silage fields and reduce your feed costs next year.

Aim for the best seed mixes on the NIAB https://www.britishgrassland.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/RGCL-Merchants-Guide-2020-5-WEB.pdf & Teagasc  Pasture Profit Index https://www.teagasc.ie/crops/grassland/pasture-profit-index/ .

Our grass seed supplier has access to all the top ranking varieties which have a lot of Aber varieties in the list.

Our brochure contains some examples of leys that we have available, but we can get a bespoke mix made up to suit your requirements as our supplier is not tied to any specific seed house.  For further informaiton contact either Andrew Jones - 07717 44288 or David Quance - 07395 498175 from DBL Buying Group 

Contact Gerard at gerardfinnan@fcgagric.com or tel 07976 426420 for help in formulating a plan to improve your dairy herd milk from forage.