Forage Rye is suitable for early turnout (reducing overwintering costs) for cows and good for winter sheep keep. It provides a flexible sowing option after maize or cereals and can be zero grazed or big baled. It is good for helping to mop-up residual nitrogen and prevents soil erosion.
As Forage Rye is primarily grown for its ability to deliver very early grazing in the early spring it is essential to make sure that the right field is selected. Although Forage Rye will grow on a very wide range of soil types it is best to avoid very exposed or badly drained fields. The seedbed for forage rye should be reasonably firm and well consolidated. A seed rate of between 160-185kg/ha (65-75kg/acre) is adequate under most circumstances and the seed should be drilled to a depth of 3.5-5.0cm.
Drilling should take place mid-August to late September. This ensures that the crop gets well established before the winter sets in.
No herbicides should be needed and the crop suffers from few pests and diseases.
Forage Rye should not be allowed to enter the winter in a very proud state and in a mild autumn, crops sown in good time can be lightly grazed in late November or early December. If grazing dairy cows on Forage Rye then the crop length needs to be about 30-35 cm. For sheep the crop can be a little shorter. Controlled grazing, using an electric fence is very important to avoid excessive wastage.
For further information please call 0845 070 6280.