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New clover mix for silage last years longer

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: September 12, 2012

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Inclusion of the first long-lasting red clover variety AberClaret in a specialist silage seeds mixture offers livestock farmers significant new options in quality forage production, according to British Seed Houses.

The new mixture, Aber Red 5 HSG, containing three high-ranking Aber high-sugar perennial rye grasses, alongside AberClaret, is classed as a medium-term mixture, offering around twice the persistency of conventional red clover mixtures.

"AberClaret is the first of the new longer-lasting red clovers bred at IBERS Aberystwyth University, where long-term trials have shown it to remain highly productive as part of a mixed sward for up to five years," explained Paul Billings, of British Seed Houses. "This is a significant breakthrough that now allows livestock farmers to exploit the advantages of red clover more easily and cost effectively, as the four to five-year productive life is more compatible with many farms' rotations. Conventional red clover is generally considered productive for two to three years only.

"Red clover is a quality forage source that provides high yields of protein-rich dry matter. As a legume, red clover also fixes nitrogen at around 150kgN per hectare per year, so the cumulative benefit of this over the duration of a medium-term ley will be very beneficial. Longer lasting red clovers will have a significant role to play in the sustainability of livestock farming in the future."

Aber Red 5 HSG is included in British Seed Houses' Aber Premium Mixtures catalogue for the 2013 season. The new catalogue, which also includes the new high-sugar extended grazing mixture AberXtend HSG and features all the latest Aber High Sugar Grasses, can be obtained from British Seed Houses at Avonmouth (0117 982 3692).

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