Auto Trader Ltd
Farminguk
01 July 2016 | Online since 2003
Scrutton Bland


11 March 2014 03:58:34|Cattle,News,Pigs,Property News,Sheep

What are the consequences for livestock farmers after the floods?


With much of the UK having seen record levels of rainfall and extensive flooding of pastures and crops, James Ingles, Head of Agriculture at Barenbrug looks at what the consequences may be for livestock farmers.
Long term flooding, with the land under water for over a week, can result in the productive grasses being killed, the sward will ‘green up’ when it dries out, but this will be with non-productive weed grasses like meadow grass.
The only answer is to re-seed with productive species, ideally by ploughing, which has the benefit of opening up and drying out the soil structure. If that is not possible, harrow out any mat of dead material, before direct drilling a specialist overseeding mixture.
Short term flooding and waterlogging causes two main problems, the soils rapidly lose oxygen and the passage of water through the soils leads to the leeching of the more soluble nutrients, like nitrogen, sulphur and potash.
Soils deficient in oxygen are described as anaerobic and result in increased levels of carbon dioxide, methane and volatile fatty acids in the soil, this can be seen by reduced worm activity and the soil smelling ‘rotten’.
The net result is that plants shift their metabolism from aerobic respiration to anaerobic fermentation. This leads to poor root growth, which stresses the plant and reduces its response to nitrogen. Applying fertiliser to compacted and waterlogged soils is likely to be a waste of time and money, as the plant will not be able to fully utilise it.
The risk of fertiliser run-off will increase by as much as 50–60 percent.
Soils that are waterlogged stay colder for longer, further reducing growth and making the production problem worse.
To get the soils and swards back into full production, dig a test hole approximately 50 cm/ (18”) square and at least 40 cm/ (12”) deep.
This will allow you to see how deep the problem is, often waterlogging is caused by a shallow pan caused by either grazing animals or tractor activity. This can be corrected by either slitting the sward or the use of a sward lifter.

Download



0 Comment


Name

Please enter your name


Email

Comment

Please enter your comment


Post Comment

Your comment submitted successfully.Please wait for admin approval.


Comments

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


Australia | 30 June 2016
Climate change forces European graziers to consider Aussie cattle

Rising temperatures and variable weather patterns caused by climate change will lead to a growing demand for tropical varieties of cattle in Europe, according to a German breeder. Sylvia Opitz and ...


USA | 30 June 2016
U.S. cattle auction halts activity in blow to producers, traders

Organizers of an online U.S. cattle auction that ranchers and traders had hoped would help restore transparency to livestock pricing nationwide said on Wednesday they would suspend activity indefinite...


USA | 30 June 2016
West Texas A&M's cloned cattle could beef up industry

West Texas A&M University researchers on Wednesday announced positive results in their quest to use cloning to consistently produce high-quality beef — and more of it per animal. A U.S. Department ...


Germany | 30 June 2016
'Cancer causing' weedkiller given go ahead by EU - as Germany and France hold it to ransom

Farmers across the bloc can continue using glyphosate for another 18 months after European health commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis yesterday extended its licence before a June 30 deadline. The her...


Australia | 30 June 2016
Fonterra cut another blow to dairy farmers

The latest price cut from a major dairy producer could force some Australian farmers out of the industry as they struggle to break even. Fonterra Australia has joined Murray Goulburn and Bega Chees...



Trending Now

Viewed
Discussed

Farms and Land for sale

PropertyLocation
PropertyAgent
PropertyMinimumPrice
PropertyMaximumPrice
PropertyCategory

Holiday Rentals search

AccommodationKeyword
AccommodationType
AccommodationCounty
AccommodationStarRating


Top stories you may have missed
closeicon
Username
Password