Figures calculated by Barenbrug UK – a leading supplier of agricultural grass – reveal that farmers who are not reseeding their grassland regularly could be losing out by as much as a tonne of lamb production per hectare.
The numbers – highlighted by Barenbrug to coincide with the start of NSA Sheep in Malvern – show the negative financial impact poor grassland can have on a farming business on a year-by-year basis.
Building on figures originally released by Dairyco, Barenbrug has developed a table that demonstrates the cost of an old grass sward in terms of lost energy and lower yields. The calculations show that:
· Over a seven year period, the yield of a hybrid / perennial ley that is not reseeded will drop from 13 tonnes of DM/ha to just seven
· With grass dry matter valued at £100/t this is a production loss of £600 per hectare
· Keeping your grass young and vibrant, can add up to 300kg of meat yield (the equivalent of seven more lambs reared per hectare) – a deadweight gain of more than £1400.
James Ingles, Head of Agriculture at Barenbrug UK, said: “There are always compelling reasons to invest in your grass and treat it like any other crop, but these numbers will really hit home with farmers. The figures clearly show that if you don’t reseed your fields on a regular basis the impact on performance and farm finances can be quite dramatic.”
“Our goal is to help farmers get more output, ultimately more meat from grass – the most economical source of feed for livestock. By reseeding with mixtures that use the best-recommended varieties, such as Seagoe and Drumbo, producers can reap the benefits of a new sward. The additional yield and quality of the varieties will also give more lamb production when compared to the average recommended variety.”