How do I grow quality grass while promoting quantity?

The atrocious weather that we experienced throughout 2017 clearly resulted in the quantity and quality of grass-silage preserved being greatly reduced.

This reduction has resulted in poorer-quality silage being fed to livestock, which has led to more meal being fed on most farms.

Farmers are now planning for first-cut silage, with cutting dates later than planned due to the cold spring. It is imperative – with the reduced growth rates experienced this spring – that we ensure that we plan for sufficient quantity and quality of grass-silage.

With this in mind, farmers need to ensure that the grass being preserved is of the highest quality, with a quicker regrowth being encouraged for second-cut silage.

Weed control is an important part of a farmer’s silage strategy. It reduces contamination in the pit and maximises nutrient utilisation.

The use of herbicides is a common practice to ensure weeds are adequately controlled and a high quantity of ryegrass is maintained in the sward.

Every 1kg of nitrogen (N) applied has the ability to sustain the production of 20-30kg of dry matter (DM) of ryegrass per hectare. If swards are infested with weeds, the level of production of high-quality grass is dramatically reduced.

Weed control can cause stress

Weed control is effective at maintaining a clean pasture for grass silage. However, it can cause the crop to undergo stresses through the application of the herbicide.

These stresses experienced by the crop do not cause a long-term negative effect to grasses. However, stunting of the crop is a short-term effect caused by herbicide application, which will impact on the overall yield of the harvested crop.

This is not a year for knocking back grass yields. To allow for maximum yield and quality, Grassland Agro has a range of biostimulants that should be incorporated into any weed control strategy to prevent yield loss.

These biostimulants can most notably improve plant activity for increased quality through reduced nitrates, increased sugars and crude protein.

Why use Grassland Agro biostimulants?

The benefit of using Grassland Agro’s foliar biostimulants is that the products reduce the stresses experienced by the growing crop.

It is important to maintain growth rates and this is done by stimulating plant activity through the application of the Seactiv complex (European patent number EP98400150.3) contained within the Fertileader range, allowing for maximum crop potential to be achieved.

Grassland Agro Fertileader Biostimulants contain seaweed extracts, as well as a selection of amino acids to stimulate plant and root activity.

The Fertileader range has a consistent level of molecules in each batch of finished product, due to the patented extraction processes. This means that no negative molecules are present in the Fertileader range that will reduce the positive effect.

Fertileader Stimgrass for maximum quality and quantity

Fertileader Stimgrass is one of the foliar biostimulants that is specifically designed for the grassland market in Ireland. It is applied to improve the growth and quality of the grass.

Not only does Fertileader contain seaweeds extracts, it provides a source of N and magnesium (Mg) to promote plant activity and sugar production.

One of the more popular uses for Stimgrass is in conjunction with a weed killing herbicide. Farmers who have used the product, alongside a weed killing herbicide, have observed that grass growth was not ‘checked’ or stunted by the herbicide.

Customer experience indicates that Fertileader Stimgrass actually improved the efficiency of the weed kill by improving the activity of the plant to utilise the active agents.

The suggestion of improved weed kill is partly due to the fact that IPA extract (Patent Number 9700763), within the Seactiv complex, has a positive effect on the transport of mineral elements in the plant.

This results in the herbicide travelling quicker and deeper within the plant, thus giving an improved weed kill.

Fertileader Stimgrass is an effective biostimulant at increasing silage quality when applied with or without a herbicide. The use of Stimgrass applied on grassland has resulted in several benefits which have been quantified in Irish on-farm trials.

These benefits are as follows:
  • Increased grass-silage yields by up to 435kg of DM/ha or 5%;
  • Increased sugar concentration in silage by 16% (AFBI trials 2007);
  • Reduced grass nitrates, ‘free-nitrogen’, by 0.05% per kg of DM or 28%;
  • Improves crude protein levels by 32g/kg of DM or 25%.

Fertileader Stimgrass is a unique product that allows farmers to protect grass yields and maximise production, but also improve grass quality and palatability for greater utilisation. This results in a reduction of overall waste from silage preserved.

How to use Fertileader Stimgrass?

Fertileader Stimgrass is a liquid product that is available in 10L containers. The product is applied using a conventional sprayer at a rate of 1.5L/ac to 2L/ac.

Fertileader Stimgrass can either be tank mixed with another chemical that is to be applied to the crop or applied on its own to enhance crop yield and quality.

More information

For more information on Fertileader Stimgrass and a chance to win 20L of Stimgrass, just click here