16-07-2013 01:09 AM | Arable, Cattle, Cereal, Crops, News

Beef farmer celebrates 'best ever field of grass'



Left to right, Alister McIntyre, his father Wullie McIntyre and Duncan Dunlop
Left to right, Alister McIntyre, his father Wullie McIntyre and Duncan Dunlop
A beef farmer from Ayrshire is celebrating his ‘best field of grass ever’.nAlister McIntyre, farms 290 acres at Millport with 86 head of beef cows which are Simmental crosses put back to the Simmental bull. All his calves are sold as stores.

McIntyre had always struggled to get a good crop of quality grass on one of the fields which was located right on the shore. This is due to the very dry sandy soil and salt spray.

He asked his local seed supplier, Duncan Dunlop from R H Goldies near Dundonald, for help. So Mr Dunlop visited the farm with Mhairi Dawson, regional manager for top seed producers Barenbrug.

“It was certainly a hostile environment for growing quality grass, being on the seashore there were shells everywhere and the soil was dry and sandy,” said Mhairi. “The issue of drought was the main problem, plus there was a lot of salt in the air.”


After inspecting the field and having discussions with Alister McIntyre and Duncan Dunlop, she recommended Barenbrug’s new Barmix mixture.

This produces a permanent, drought tolerant, high protein sward aimed at beef and sheep production. It is a completely new type of mixture using the best of continental breeding to produce a very productive ley.

The result is considerably more grass than conventional ryegrass leys, especially under low fertility conditions such as on Alister McIntyre’s farm. The varieties of Tall Fescue and Cockfoot are used as they are both soft leafed and palatable.

Commented Alister McIntyre; “I have been delighted with the results achieved with Barmix. It has performed far better than a perennial ryegrass mixture ever did on that field and it is without doubt the best field of grass I have ever seen in there. It has coped with the exceptional dry sandy areas and the heavy wet area in very low lying spots. The young bullocks we grazed after silage last year did very well on the Barmix. It has produced a highly palatable sward for my animals and I will certainly be using it again.”

Said Duncan Dunlop, “Alister is a long standing customer so I wanted to do anything I could to help him with this issue; that is why I called in one of Barenbrug’s experts to look at the location of his field and the surrounding environment. Mhairi certainly did not let me down and now I have an even more satisfied customer.”

Added Mhairi Dawson, “As a company we are fully committed to supporting the British livestock farmer and help them to become more profitable. To do this we have an extensive research and development programme to produce the best crop of grass possible and the result is Barmix, specifically designed for such challenging environments.”

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