Initial Results from the First Cuts
One year wonder cut on 8th July
- Plot 1: 75% One cut Westerwold & 25% annual clover - 4750 kgDM/ha
- Plot 2: 35% Westerwold, 40% Italian Ryegrass & 25% annula clover - 3290 kgDM/ha
- Plot 3: 100% Westerwold - 4366 kgDM/ha
Plot 1 is unlikely to yield much more and will be sown with stubble turnips while plots 2 and 3 should give 1-2 further cuts this year weather and ground conditions permitting.
3-4 year mix cut on 14th July
- Watsons Red Tantallon mix - 3569kgDM/ha
- Watsons Red Tantallon with Aber Claret red clover - 3659kgDM/ha
- Watsons Tantallon – no red clover - 3886kgDM/ha
As expected the plot with no red clover has yielded slightly higher for the first cut as it has a higher percentage of productive grasses. In this period the red clover has been establishing and should compensate from now on. On the day there was around 3,000 kgDM/ha in the field already, only 17 days after cutting which signified a massive daily growth rate of around 120kgDM/ha/day. Ideal growing conditions in terms of moisture, heat and nutrients have shown the potential of having productive varieties of Ryegrass and clover.
Both fields have had applications of 86kgN/ha and the one year wonder has also had a light application of pig slurry. Contrary to perceived opinion red clover does require Nitrogen in its first year as it will not be fixing much nitrogen until the following year once root nodules are fully formed. In his presentation Charlie also mentioned how plant breeders are developing red clover varieties that hold onto their nitrogen in winter (as opposed to it leaching away) which is better for the environment as well as having more nitrogen available in spring to boost growth.
SRUC acknowledges the support for this project given by the Scottish
Government funding as part of the Success Through Knowledge campaign.