Plans for Grassland & Muck 2020 are rapidly falling into place, with the new Ragley site being drilled with a mix of silage and grazing leys ready for the event on 20-21 May.
The grass seed mixtures have been specially chosen to be at their best in time for the event, with 170 acres of silage fields used for real live grass harvesting, baling, clamping and muck spreading. A wide variety of the latest machines and equipment will be in action, alongside a rotational grazing feature demonstrating how to maximise performance from mob grazing.
As seed partner, DLF recommended a short-term, very vigorous mix for the silage ley, featuring the new Festulolium Perseus – the only grass to achieve a maximum score of 9 for crown rust resistance on the BSPB recommended list. The mix also includes the high performing multi-cut Westerwold variety Lolan and the top performing Italian ryegrass, Alamo. With maturity planned to coincide with the date of the event, it should offer optimum conservation performance, says the firm’s Rod Bonshor.
“The triennial Grassland & Muck event has long been the primary occasion in the British Isles for those with a vested interest in all aspects of grassland management,” explains Mr Bonshor. “This presents a wonderful synergy for DLF Seeds where grass breeding, production and supply is integral to our position as market leader in this sector.”
The Century grazing mix features late-heading grasses which produce a very dense, hard-wearing sward with excellent palatability and D Values. Varieties include the new perennial ryegrasses Nashota and Thegn, alongside Cancan, Romark, Toddington and the Timothy grass Winnetou, he adds.
“The event offers us the opportunity to showcase our latest concepts in growing plots as a living catalogue, linking seeds with science yet keeping closely allied to farm practice for maximum relevance.”
Visitors will be able to see the Century mix grown both with and without clover, as well as individual plots of Nashota and Thegn.
The RASE event is being partnered by Yara for the fifth time, so the grassland will be treated to a tailored fertiliser regime – based on accurate soil testing - to maximise yields and grass quality. It is the first time it will be held at the Ragley Estate near Alcester, Warwickshire, and covering 206 acres it will comprise the biggest display of working machinery demonstrations in the UK.
“Visitors will be able to see a wide range of the latest grass and muck machinery in action, alongside plots of new grass varieties and a packed technical programme,” explains event organiser Alice Bell. “With leading industry partners and all the major manufacturers present, everything is tailored to helping farmers get more from their grass. And with 94% of visitors rating Grassland & Muck 2017 as good to excellent, visitors to the 2020 event are sure to be inspired.”