Seeds Mixtures 2000/2001
Variety Descriptions click here to look at variety descriptions
Basis of selection
is newer NIAB Listed varieties available & 2nd slightly older varieties which are by no means second best.
Within the limits placed on availability selection is based on early season yield, heading date, mid season digestibility, disease resistance and persistence.
Guidelines for mixture choice.
For disease resistance if sowing a single variety - eg a Hybrid Italian for a 2 year ley, then mix the 1st and second choice.
Silage: 2-3yr leys The earlier the varieties the poorer midseason digestibility but greater yield and more open sward. The priority for cutting ground is two good cuts by late June v.early July in dry years in particular. Recent varieties such as the Hybrids between Italians and Perennials have much greater persistence , disease resistance and superior mid season digestibility - but only at a slight overall 2 year yield disadvantage to Diploids & Tetraploids. For this reason Hybrids Aber Linnet, Molisto are preferred.
Silage 3-4 / 4-5 yr Leys: Combinations of Hybrids and Intermediate PRG for 3-4 years are best combined with Arran clover. A late heading PRG is introduced for 4-5yr leys and the clover Avoca or Aber Herald or mixtures of the two is ideal.
Catch Crop For shear bulk from a catch crop between Wheat & Maize choose an aggressive seed from the Tetraploid Italians at LOW seed cost showing very good spring growth - eg FABIO.
The above mixtures are also suitable for shorter grazing leys
Long Term Grazing: varieties should be based on Intermediate and Late heading PRG only combined with Avoca - Aber Herald white clover. Dense poaching resistant varieties with first class midseason digestibility / high water soluble carbohydrates and disease resistance are essential.
Grazing Clovers are better established in spring, with limited nitrogen BUT Autumn sowing is necessary for highest annual yields and bulk of grass at first cut. Clovers develop more strongly after a cut in spring where the sward opens and summer temperatures encourage growth. Newer varieties are a vast improvement to the old Huia, showing earlier growth and better persistence such that clovers are left of the list. To show a significant contribution to the cows diet midseason - clover must be at 30% of the sward. A clovers nitrogen fixing nodules take a season to fully develop and it is not until the second year that white clover will give its best contribution. On the intensively grazed dairy farm clovers are best deployed on steep slopes where there is a practical limitation to nitrogen application. Future varieties of clover include those that grow regardless of nitrogen application - 1-2 years away from commercial seed supplies. Look out for Aber Vantage.
On very steep slopes it is essential to grow late heading leafy PRG - Twystar / Dromore. Combine with a good clover to aid palatability and growth of the sward later in the season when slopes are drier and able to be grazed without excessive damage. It is essential to temporarily divide v.steep slopes into 1/4 day paddocks to limit poaching and ensure efficient utilisation in the spring. Grazing steep slopes can require up to 10 times the energy versus flat ground. Limiting the amount of grazing time (but not of ease of grazing) to quick efficient high intake periods will ensure maximum productivity. Flat areas of steep fields should be fenced to prevent cows using these as resting areas - reducing spoilage.
Silage Clovers Intakes of clover are 20-30% more than grass and demonstrate superior milk production. Their higher protein content (20%) versus Italians (12-14%) and better protein degradability characteristics make them a natural companion for the intensively cut sward. For the 2 year Ley - Red clover - Merviot or big leaf Arran are Ideal. For longer duration, Avoca or Aber Herald or mixes thereof are ideal for a summer contribution and should always be included. It is essential to use only those herbicides which are clover safe - Legumex for establishment and Asulox for established docks.