Date: 04/2021

First harvests of the year have begun after a short delay from wet weather and sharp frosts.

Italian and Italian-type hybrid ryegrasses are cut in mid-March to take away the winter growth, which has been far above average this year at 1.8T/ha compared to a target of 1.1T/ha. Following this early grazing or small silage type cut the last fertilizer applications are made before the main silage cut in May. It’s important to take these early to allow the most time for regrowth before the main silage harvest.

Next the white clover trials are harvested once they have reached and average 1.5T/ha dry matter yield. This year the target was reached on 14 April, a week earlier than normal, and plots contained an average 36% white clover. Some nitrogen may be applied if the clover becomes too dominant in the sward but at the moment this is a good balance for optimum yield and feed. These trials will be harvested up to another 7 times this year and at each cut a sample from every plot is separated by hand to determine the amount of clover in the mixture. The next years clover trials will be sown once the soil temperature starts to warm up.

Around the same time a first harvest of the simulated grazing trials is made, cut low at 4cm and every 3-4 weeks from now until the grass becomes dormant in October.