28 January 2015 | Online since 2003



26 February 2014|Arable,Cereal,Crops,News

Management key to success of Italian ryegrass


While many livestock farmers turned to Italian ryegrass in spring last year to produce large quantities of forage to replenish silage stocks, they will need to manage the crop very carefully this year to get the most out of it warns one leading expert.

“When sown in the spring grass produced a dense, leafy sward, with virtually no seed heads which made silage making easy,” said David Long, research and development manager agriculture at grass experts and seed producers Barenbrug.

But he says things will be different in the second year as it will have gone through vernalization, or the acquisition of a plant’s ability to flower in the spring by exposure to a prolonged period of cold throughout the winter. Therefore they will attempt to produce seed heads at every opportunity.

“To get the best out of their investment farmers will need to carefully manage their Italian sward this year,” said Mr Long.

“Italian ryegrass grows at lower temperatures than other species so given the mild winter it has kept growing so goes into spring with a large bulk of grass. To make the most of this farmers should ensure the sward is grazed early before being shut up for silage or a very early - by late April - silage cut taken to remove the winter growth.

“Early grazing can be followed by a first cut taken five to six weeks later as the crop starts to head in late May, which will give the best combination of yield and quality. A second cut can be taken five weeks after the first – a week earlier than perennial ryegrass.

“But if you want to take a second cut at the same time as other leys the best idea is to graze the cut sward for a week after cutting to hold back any re-growth.

“Further cuts can be taken at five weekly intervals, or the sward can be grazed – it responds well to hard, tight grazing, otherwise it will go stemmy very quickly.

“Italian ryegrass is an extremely productive species but needs to be carefully managed to get the most out of it and the key to that management is flexibility.

“Lax management or late cutting will result in reduced quality and rejection by the grazing animal, so farmers need to judge cutting times by looking at the crop, not the calendar.”

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


24 January 2015
Wordpress Designer / Developer
Office in idyllic, rural, location ­ a great lifestyle choice (with a farm shop & cafe next. Wordpress Designer / Develop...

12 January 2015
Senior Chemistry Analyst - Cambridgeshire
Covering the food and drink, dairy, water and pharmaceutical sectors they have over 20 years experience in delivering the hig...

20 January 2015
Operations - Derivatives & Clearing - Commodities - Analyst - London
The products traded by the Commodities desk include Oil, Gas, Power, Metals, Agriculture, Coal, Emissions and Index Products....

19 January 2015
3rd line infrastructure support analyst,
Current Microsoft technologies including Windows Server 2012 migration, Exchange 2010, CRM 2011 and SQL 2012 including cluste...

7 January 2015
Second Person (Stud Farm)
Second Person Required Experienced all aspects, for private stud near Newmarket. Accommodation possible. Please send your c.v...




Top stories you may have missed
12 November 2014 | Arable
GM crops 'good for farmers and the envir...

GM crops 'good for farmers and the envir...

GM crops are good for the economy and can reduce the amount of pesticides u...


6 November 2014 | Cattle
Smaller European markets drive beef expo...

Smaller European markets drive beef expo...

Demand from smaller European markets has helped drive strong growth for UK ...


6 November 2014 | Agri Safety
Lack of engineers a 'ticking time bomb' ...

Lack of engineers a 'ticking time bomb' ...

A lack of engineers, not enough people promoting the land-based industries ...


4 November 2014 | Bees and Beekeeping
Bee action plan due: Last chance for bee...

Bee action plan due: Last chance for bee...

Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss is launching the National Pollinator ...


4 November 2014 | Arable
Experts welcome financial boost for youn...

Experts welcome financial boost for youn...

Agricultural specialists have welcomed a potential financial boost for youn...


3 November 2014 | News
Supermarket competition on prices 'risks...

Supermarket competition on prices 'risks...

As retailers continue to participate in a highly competitive race to the bo...


31 October 2014 | Arable
New Defra farm figures 'underline volati...

New Defra farm figures 'underline volati...

New farm business income data from Defra, which focus on income from March ...


30 October 2014 | Agri Safety
Agriculture remains one of UK's most dan...

Agriculture remains one of UK's most dan...

Agriculture has remained one of the industries in which workers are most li...


29 October 2014 | Finance
UK farmland prices see 'substantial grow...

UK farmland prices see 'substantial grow...

Prime arable land in the UK has seen a substantial year-on-year growth in p...


27 October 2014 | Arable
Satellites to help farmers pinpoint dise...

Satellites to help farmers pinpoint dise...

A new mobile app for farmers able to pinpoint and identify disease, pests a...