Herbal leys

Discussion in 'Grassland Management' started by Soissons, Aug 7, 2020.

  1. Soissons

    Soissons Well-Known Member

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    Has anyone had any experience in establishing and grazing herbal leys ? Is Autumn or spring sowing best? Any advice welcome. It would be for grazing sheep and possibly the odd cut of hay if possible. Tia.
     
  2. marco

    marco Well-Known Member

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    Anyone I've talked to about them say stitching in never really works so at least a disking will be needed. And a longer rest period after grazing to aid persistence of the herbs.
     
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  3. Soissons

    Soissons Well-Known Member

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    It will be going in after spring wheat so will probably plough after post harvest glyphosate.
     
  4. marco

    marco Well-Known Member

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    Flat roll at least twice if it's dry enough. The small seeds need the consolidation. So I've been told
     
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  5. Blackwater boy

    Blackwater boy Moderator

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    What is the benefit of them versus a perennial ryegrass sward?
     
  6. jf 850

    jf 850 Well-Known Member

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    I think they are organic ?
    The only piece of it that i know of , belongs to a local organic sheep/tillage farmer . He sows it to fatten lambs . It looks like it is littered with narrow Dock leaves , but I was told this is chicory plants . Something about thd chicory being like a natural worm dose .
    How long would a herbal ley last ? 1 , 3 or 5 years ? Can you /do you spread like 2 bags of 18/6/12 on it in spring time ? Can it be meadowed ?
     
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  7. Soissons

    Soissons Well-Known Member

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    5
    Better stock health due to increased minerals in herbs, and anthelmintic properties due to tannins in herbs, increased palatability , less requirement for artificial fertiliser because of legumes and therefore higher protein forage. Or so I’ve been told! That’s why I’m looking for a downside, if anyone has any experience.
     
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  8. Soissons

    Soissons Well-Known Member

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    All good questions! Any answers?
     
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  9. jay gatsby

    jay gatsby Well-Known Member

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    A neighbour here sowed it two years ago. We bought yearlings off him that had been on it all summer, they had terrific thrive, they were getting some rough age with it but not sure if that was a requirement of the herbal ley or just his own choice.
    Weed control is the obvious issue as there isn't anything chemical and that could effect durability. I dont think its suitable for silage but i suppose it depends on the mix you use.
     
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  10. marco

    marco Well-Known Member

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  11. jf 850

    jf 850 Well-Known Member

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    I have a feeling that I heard that the seed is roughly double the price of an acre of grass seed ?
     
  12. Bog Man

    Bog Man Well-Known Member

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    How much does five years nitrogen cost for perennial rye grass .
     
  13. AYF

    AYF Well-Known Member

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    Doesn't like to be grazed early or late in the year AFAIK
    Looked at it myself. But Febuary lambing would mean I'd have to use the field before it wants to grow.

    I think it's probably fine if you've few enough sheep or enough land to keep them off early.
    Over grazing is particularly bad, so not sure mowing would suit?

    I think it needs long rest periods versus grass and clover lays

    Almost as well with a good grass mix with plenty of clover in?
     
  14. marco

    marco Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't think set stocking would suit it alright
     

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