alternative forages

jcb411abuser

Well-Known Member
what would you think about a system of wholecrop winter wheat and straight after it's cut sow forage rape and take a cut off it and ensile aswell. i don't kow if you have noticed but grass growth is dismal and the only crop doing well in these parts is winter wheat. just thinking if this weather becomes the norm are there any other crops we could use that would handle the cold better than grass?:undecided:
 

Larry David

Very Senior Member
How many t/dm/ha would that give over grass. Still needs growth and good weather to work it. Look into reseeding if grass isn't growing for you.:undecided:

This isn't normal weather and if it is, I suggest France.:whistling:
 

Tullyvernon

Well-Known Member
Id doubt that wheat is doing any better than grass, it could be that there is more effort made to make sure the soil isn't lacking anything.

Id recommend soil sampling and fresh re-seed as Larry says, if you put the same effort into growing grass as you would with wheat it will do as well as anything and still be cheaper.

Not that there is anything wrong with whole crop wheat and think its a great job to undersowen with grass when re seeding,
 

jcb411abuser

Well-Known Member
spring wheat is terrible it's just the winter stuff is flying, there is nothing wrong with our ground as far as it lacking anything, it's just the regrowth is woeful, sure it's midday here and the temp is only 7C. if it was a normal year it would be 18-20C.
i'm just thinking if this becomes the norm we might have to rethink our options. kale rather than rape seems to be the crop for what i'm after yet the harvest date on the wholecrop winter wheat would leave the sowing of kale a tad late, rape would suit being sown later, yet kale has nearly twice the dm of rape afaik.
if it was a good year and weather was perfect i'd have grass everytime but the longer this weather goes on the more worried i am that it could be what we have to deal with for a long while yet.
 

jcb411abuser

Well-Known Member
How many t/dm/ha would that give over grass. Still needs growth and good weather to work it. Look into reseeding if grass isn't growing for you.:undecided:

This isn't normal weather and if it is, I suggest France.:whistling:

http://www.eblex.org.uk/documents/content/returns/brp_home-grown_forages_directory230911.pdf

using this as a source, and if i'm doing my sums right, grass in good growing times will bring in 4.5-5.8tDM/ac
the wholecrop and kale should do between 6-8tDM/ac
wholecrop and rape will do round 6tDM/ac
 

Tim818

Well-Known Member
Moving forward Ill be certainly trying to grow more grass on the shoulder months (yes I know that is land and location dependent, but I'm lucky with both), it will mean more effort in paddock infrastructure, drainage etc, then in backing fences etc. As well as that try to keep a larger stockpile of pit silage to ride out the bad times. I'd consider likes of maize as it seems to do well around us, but the alternative of just getting out of winter milk would kill two birds with one stone ha!
 

jcb411abuser

Well-Known Member
Moving forward Ill be certainly trying to grow more grass on the shoulder months (yes I know that is land and location dependent, but I'm lucky with both), it will mean more effort in paddock infrastructure, drainage etc, then in backing fences etc. As well as that try to keep a larger stockpile of pit silage to ride out the bad times. I'd consider likes of maize as it seems to do well around us, but the alternative of just getting out of winter milk would kill two birds with one stone ha!

that's all fine and dandy if grass is growing but it's nearly june and it very slow up here:no:
 

Ozzy Scott

Well-Known Member
Moving forward Ill be certainly trying to grow more grass on the shoulder months (yes I know that is land and location dependent, but I'm lucky with both), it will mean more effort in paddock infrastructure, drainage etc, then in backing fences etc. As well as that try to keep a larger stockpile of pit silage to ride out the bad times. I'd consider likes of maize as it seems to do well around us, but the alternative of just getting out of winter milk would kill two birds with one stone ha!

that works lovely until you make crap of your land from poaching in the shoulders of the season. What are we to do if we have fertile ground, short term leys that are still not growing. Snake oil ?
 

diesel power

Well-Known Member
Lot of people thought I was mad but the 6 bags of fert I put on per acre is really paying me now. Yes it did cost a bit more but I can see as can others how well my silage is doing now.
 

Chewdles

Well-Known Member
Lot of people thought I was mad but the 6 bags of fert I put on per acre is really paying me now. Yes it did cost a bit more but I can see as can others how well my silage is doing now.

Will you have enough days between spreading and cutting for that extra nitrogen.
if(?) a nice week comes there could be a lush uptake of nitrogen into the plant or am i wrong in that
 

Tim818

Well-Known Member
that works lovely until you make crap of your land from poaching in the shoulders of the season.

Fair point, but dairyfarmers can work around it by standing off cows and only letting them in to graze for 2/3hours at a time. Obviously wouldn't suit a suckler farmer etc, and point taken that some farms are simple as is too wet to do this. I was stating my plans, in regard to what I think I can get away with on my farm, as oppose to using alternative forage crops. Grass still the cheapest form of feed, and it would take another bad spell of weather, even longer than what we have had to change my opinion on that. (and I even have fields still poached from last summer here on the farm). But anyways too much chopping and changing of your system as such could well lead to greater loses, esp if you struggle to adopt.
 

diesel power

Well-Known Member
Was all that nitrogen or most of it P&K?

2 bags were 0:7:30 and the rest was CAN. Usually I'd only put out 3 bags of 27:2.5:5 and call it good and it generally works fine for me but then I don't winter finish so I want my pits full and top quality isn't so important to me so I let the grass grow for 8 weeks most years. I intend to do the same this year.
Silage fields do get blackened with slurry as well.
 

Ozzy Scott

Well-Known Member
2 bags were 0:7:30 and the rest was CAN. Usually I'd only put out 3 bags of 27:2.5:5 and call it good and it generally works fine for me but then I don't winter finish so I want my pits full and top quality isn't so important to me so I let the grass grow for 8 weeks most years. I intend to do the same this year.
Silage fields do get blackened with slurry as well.

grassland farmers really think they are on to a good thing by sparing the fertiliser, as I tell the guy who spreads my fert, whatever you do, don't come back to the yard and say you spread it too light, I have no problem him doing the opposite
 

headcase

Very Senior Member
2 bags were 0:7:30 and the rest was CAN. Usually I'd only put out 3 bags of 27:2.5:5 and call it good and it generally works fine for me but then I don't winter finish so I want my pits full and top quality isn't so important to me so I let the grass grow for 8 weeks most years. I intend to do the same this year.
Silage fields do get blackened with slurry as well.

Just test for nitrogen before cutting:thumbup:
 

bruceythom

Well-Known Member
2 bags were 0:7:30 and the rest was CAN. Usually I'd only put out 3 bags of 27:2.5:5 and call it good and it generally works fine for me but then I don't winter finish so I want my pits full and top quality isn't so important to me so I let the grass grow for 8 weeks most years. I intend to do the same this year.
Silage fields do get blackened with slurry as well.

There'll be a lot of phosphorus in that grass :eek:
I'd be careful with the slurry, it's a bit late to be putting out that level of phosphorus.

Posted from the Ham Bone using Crapatalk 2
 

Ozzy Scott

Well-Known Member
There'll be a lot of phosphorus in that grass :eek:
I'd be careful with the slurry, it's a bit late to be putting out that level of phosphorus.

Posted from the Ham Bone using Crapatalk 2

14 units of artificial P per acre, thats not high, add in a bit of slurry and you would be up to around 30 units, still not high. it would only be matching offtake
 

bruceythom

Well-Known Member
14 units of artificial P per acre, thats not high, add in a bit of slurry and you would be up to around 30 units, still not high. it would only be matching offtake

That it might be, but you'd want to be careful so close to cutting time. Plenty got caught out when they switched from cut sward to 18–6–12.

Posted from the Ham Bone using Crapatalk 2
 

diesel power

Well-Known Member
There'll be a lot of phosphorus in that grass :eek:
I'd be careful with the slurry, it's a bit late to be putting out that level of phosphorus.

Posted from the Ham Bone using Crapatalk 2

It's fine lads, I spread the 0:7:30 way back in late Feb so it has had plenty of time to come back out of the grass.
 

gone

Well-Known Member
Going to sow rape/kale hybrid, Interval.
Sprayed off, slurry spread, fert spread, disc and sow Monday.
A bit late I know, but was held up between draining and grazing it off, anyway it is more to level and improve the field than for the feed value alone.
IMG_20170722_165025.jpg IMG_20170722_154636.jpg IMG_20170722_154626.jpg IMG_20170722_154622.jpg
 
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