Benefits of Aber High Sugar Grasses
With grass as the cheapest input on most farms it is vital to maximise its potential.
Everyone knows that reseeding is important and worthwhile, but too often, when other things begin to happen around the farm it’s the job left until later, or the back end, or next year….
Taking another year or two out of an old sward can look like a short term saving but it’s worthwhile taking another look at the hard facts –
- Commonly after five years up to 50% of all sown species may have disappeared from the sward, being replaced with natural or weed grasses. These species are up to 65% lower yielding, and are up to 45% less responsive to fertilizer applications which at today’s prices would soon recover the cost of reseeding.
- A policy of frequent re-seeding allows the grassland farmer to exploit the continual advancements being made in plant breeding and mixture formulation. New varieties are only added to the recommended list if they can be shown to be an improvement on existing varieties. It is estimated that plant breeders have improved grass yields by 5% in the last ten years.
- Turn out date can be reduced by two to three weeks on newly re-seeded fields.
- Silage yields can typically be up to 33% higher when cutting re-seeded ground, producing higher quality forage than old swards.
- Grazing yield is increased and palatability improved, especially when white clover is included and managed correctly.
- The grazing season can be extended by correct mixture formulation and management, therefore shortening the winter feeding period
All these factors are reducing overall farm profit.
Now how can we further effect farm profit by selecting the best seed mixture for our job?
Ongoing research at IGER continues to show the benefits offered by High Sugar varieties. Increased sugar levels allow Rumen microbes to operate more efficiently, thereby utilising higher levels of grass protein, which in turn is used for milk or meat production.
Trial results have shown that –
Lambs have a 20% increased live-weight gains and swards will have at least a 20% increased carrying capacity.
Beef show an increased dry matter intake of 25% resulting in 20% higher daily live-weight gains.
Dairy cow trials show an increased milk yield of 6% over the grazing season and a 3% improvement in diet digestibility with 24% less feed nitrogen lost in urine.
Although no trial work has been done the 24% less nitrogen lost in urine must be having a major effect on fertility at turn out. As all dairy farmers know fertility at turn out is a major problem – when the cows hit the high protein grass the excess protein in the diet that cannot be utilised turns into urea (typically shown as pasture scorch) which toxifys the system causing embryonic reabsorbtion.
The increased levels of Water Soluble Carbohydrates in Aber High Sugar Grasses result in increased fermentable energy levels in the rumen allowing it to mop up the high levels of rumen degradable protein in the spring grass, converting it to microbial protein which can be utilised further down the digestive system for production of Milk Lamb or Beef.
Aber High Sugar Grasses are not only beneficial in the grazing situation – when cut for silage the higher sugar content allows for more lactic acid production resulting in a sweeter more stable silage.
For further information on Aber High Sugar Grasses please contact Trevor at Killyless Stores Tel- 028 25880233