Home grown feed may be a particularly cost-effective proposition this year, says proprietary pasture seed company PGG Wrightson.
The firm’s product development manager Allan Mudford says hot and dry conditions last spring and over summer across the country have seen a drop in the available amount of quality hay and silage.
“This lower supply also means higher current prices for hay and silage,” Mr Mudford said. “The unfavourable conditions have also led to a marked drop in the average nutritional quality of available hay and silage.”
He notes that autumn is a particularly important time of the year when it comes to implementing a successful home grown pasture system. Making the right decisions now can significantly affect pasture production levels and livestock performance.
”Creating optimal home-grown feed supplies depends on a number of factors,” Mr Mudford said. “Not least of which is the ability to choose the best varieties, in the right place, for greater long-term supply.”
He said growers should consider the long-term goals of their pasture system.
“Careful planning, selection and preparation will give a much better feed production curve – so growers should consider everything from selecting the most fertile areas and choosing the right pasture to sow, to implementing good weed and pest management practices, and also considering the best seed preparation techniques,” Mr Mudford said.
He said that by getting sowing rates right early production could be improved without adding too much cost.