28 February 2015 | Online since 2003



5 March 2014|Arable,Cereal,Crops,News

Get your grassland performing in 2014


Across the whole of the UK 2013 proved to be a much kinder year than 2012, with a much dryer summer and still to date a very mild but very wet winter.

Wales, the South West of England and along the Thames Valley has taken the brunt of the rainfall in the last three months. It’s the potential damage caused by this record wet winter which needs to be addressed to get the best out of your grass fields in 2014.

Any fields that have been winter grazed by sheep or cattle, should be checked for surface and shallow compaction.

This is best done by digging a number of shallow test pits across the field and seeing how far the water and the grass roots have penetrated. If the soil is dry and rooting is limited below 10cm, then you have a pan caused by the grazing sheep tramping about on very wet soil.

The solution is to use a sward lifter, which will remove the pan, allow the water to drain away and air into the soil to promote healthy root growth down to 25cm which will give the maximum production this summer.

If you don’t remove the pan the productive grasses will slowly starve to death as their reduced root structure will be unable to support the growth potential and the gaps will be filled with shallow rooted, lower yielding, poor quality weed grasses like meadow grass and Yorkshire Fog.

In fields that have not been winter grazed, the treatment will depend on spring growth.

Due to the mild winter, the grass in many areas has grown slowly all winter, with a build-up of cover. Spring treatment will depend on the weather, in mild areas it will just be a case of timing the first cut to match the plants growth, and taking it at the optimum combination of yield and quality for your needs.

Be prepared to cut a couple of weeks early, rather than judging first cut by the calendar. N, P & K levels should be checked as nutrient reserves could have been affected by the record amounts of rainfall leaching vital nutrients through the soil.

Those in upland areas that have experienced any hard weather and particularly hard frost on soft winter growth, check to see what damage has been done, prolonged frost or snow cover can produce high levels of dead and diseased leaf, which is not ideal for silage making and should be removed by spring grazing before shutting the field up for silage production.

Download



Comments


No comments posted yet. Be the first to post a comment

To post comment without approval login or register

Display name

Please enter your name

Email (optional)
Comment

Please enter your comment

Post Comment

Your comment submitted successfully.Please wait for admin approval.

Some error on your process.Please try one more time.



Jobs


17 February 2015
Food Service Assistant
For example, nut, dairy or wheat allergies. This National facilities management company is currently looking to recruit a Kit...

27 February 2015
Early Years Class Teacher
We have a particular reputation for creativity and learning outside the classroom, with regular Forest School, Farm School an...

12 February 2015
Nursery Practitioner
The Udder Pre-School is a thriving Full Day Care Nursery that caters for children aged from 1 years to 13 years on a unique r...

9 February 2015
Junior Agricultural Development Manager
We’ve recently launched our new agriculture strategy, and now we’re looking for two ambitious Junior Agricultural Development...

11 February 2015
SEASONAL STAFF
Children's Farm and Abbotsbury Swannery. Weekends and mid week shifts available....




Top stories you may have missed
2 February 2015 | Arable
Is EU membership damaging UK farming?

Is EU membership damaging UK farming?

Membership of the EU is damaging the British farming industry, according to...


29 January 2015 | Machinery and Equipment
Drones 'rapidly changing' agriculture

Drones 'rapidly changing' agriculture

BASIS has launched an accreditation for pilots of Unmanned Aerial Systems (...


23 January 2015 | Arable
UK wheat yields have potential to double

UK wheat yields have potential to double

UK wheat yields have theoretical potential to more than double over the nex...


23 January 2015 | Machinery and Equipment
Crowds flock to LAMMA 2015

Crowds flock to LAMMA 2015

Britain’s farmers flocked to Peterborough for the first day of LAMMA’15 to ...


22 January 2015 | Cattle
Don't blame supermarkets for milk crisis...

Don't blame supermarkets for milk crisis...

The crisis in the dairy industry is not the fault of supermarkets, accordin...


16 January 2015 | CLA
Families affected by HS2 face 'major wor...

Families affected by HS2 face 'major wor...

Transport Minister Baroness Kramer visited three rural businesses in Cheshi...


16 January 2015 | Machinery and Equipment
John Deere unveil new 6R tractor range

John Deere unveil new 6R tractor range

Spearheading the John Deere range of mid-size tractors from Mannheim, the n...


14 January 2015 | Animal Health
Monthly TB checks more effective than ba...

Monthly TB checks more effective than ba...

Regular testing for bovine TB could significantly reduce the number of infe...


12 January 2015 | News
Government regulations hampering UK agri...

Government regulations hampering UK agri...

Single-issue policy-making threatens to hamper, not help, the progress of U...


8 January 2015 | Cattle
2015: The year ahead for the beef market

2015: The year ahead for the beef market

2014 has been a “rocky old year” for the beef industry but better prices ar...