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  • Writer's picturePhilip

Round Figures

There are 120 variety names on the 2022 / 2023 recommended list for Grass and Clover and only 47 on the AHDB recommended list Harvest Results for Winter wheat.

It has been my observation that many farmers pay great attention to which wheat variety they grow yet few to the varieties of grass within a purchased grass seed mixture. Yield is what everyone talks about with 12.0 t topping the Wheat list and 10 - 16 t being that of Grass, so why not the same level of interest?

This autumn there will be many fields sown to grass but how many will have a bespoke mix of varieties planted?

One aspect to consider is that of disease resistance. Why? Well firstly it significantly reduces yield. Secondly it reduces quality (food conversion efficiency) whether that be litres of milk or kilograms of meat. Thirdly it reduces animal intakes. If palatability declines you require a substitute and that is going to be another cost against production. After that we have things like, how much nitrogen fertiliser did you apply and was this well recovered by a diseased plant? How durable or persistent is your crop going to be when half the plants are diseased? How fast will the sward recover after a “stress period?”

Maybe now is the time to consider which varieties are important to include in the grass mix for all those fields being reseeded this autumn?


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