The Agriculture and Horticulture Growth Board (AHDB) has analysed the advantages skilled by a Cornish farmer whereas grazing natural leys.
Dairy farmer Andrew Brewer reported sustaining cow milking efficiency whereas eliminating the necessity for synthetic fertiliser over 4 years and selling wholesome autumn forage wedges.
Brewer carried out his work as a part of the Farm Web Zero Programme in Cornwall at an Modern Farmers Discipline Lamb geared toward recruiting extra farmers to a brand new trial – ‘How milk yield is impacted by grazing natural leys‘.
Brewer and his spouse Claire farm a 1,000ac web site close to Fraddon and natural leys now make up about 30% of his grazing space.
The herd is made up of 500 autumn-calving crossbred cows, with two trial teams created. One group is grazed on a combined species sward and the management group is grazed on a ryegrass/clover ley.
Brewer monitored milk yields and constituents and famous that fats and protein share was decrease within the natural ley group, however total the yield on milk solids was greater as a result of elevated quantity yield.
AHDB dairy data alternate supervisor, Laura Awdry, mentioned the natural leys have been slower to reply within the spring, with flattened peak presently of 12 months and clovers and chicory coming into their very own in hotter summer season months.
Consequently, she mentioned, Brewer benefitted from a fairly regular progress curve, permitting extra of a wedge to be constructed up because the autumn approached.
“Andrew has not used synthetic fertiliser for 4 years and is ready to depend on the farm’s personal slurry and a few native digestate for any institution nutrient requirement or post-silage utility,” she mentioned.
“This facilitated a major discount in prices because of the decreased inputs however with no discount in cow efficiency or total forage manufacturing.”