Getting land back into production quickly after a maize harvest can be the difference between having a crop for the spring that can be utilised or having expensive land out of production for a period. The sowing of a grass ley after maize can be extremely profitable as long as the correct choice is made.
If looking for a forage crop to establish after maize, then the choice of species is crucial. Late sowing can be difficult for non-aggressive options, including clovers. Aggressive, fast establishing grasses are best as they will get away well before winter sets in. Westerwolds grow in low temperatures and can provide a useful early bite in March or a first cut in mid April.
If looking for an option that will last longer than one year, then Italian ryegrass is a good choice. This species will give similar yields to Westerwolds, but offers the additional benefit of lasting for two years if required. Both of these can be used alone or planted in a mix.
Either of these ryegrasses should be drilled or broadcast as soon as possible, and before the middle of October. If looking for a green manure then a rye and vetch mix are a late season option which will give excellent overwinter cover and improve soil nutrient and organic matter levels dramatically. These can be drilled and left in till late spring. As bare soil is vulnerable to soil erosion and nutrient leaching, planting the right species now is definitely the best way to prepare for winter.
Sowing Rate 10-16kg /Acre
• Fastest establishing forage grass
• Can be in production from 8 weeks of sowing
• Suitable for cutting and grazing
• Highest yielding ryegrass
• When sown in autumn offers good winter
cover and has very early spring growth
Sowing Rate 12-16kg /Acre
• Short term, highly productive Italian mix
• 50/50 mix of tetraploids and diploids
• Rapid establishment
• Can be cut or grazed
As it is not advised to sow clover after September and certainly when frosts are around we can still supply our standard mixtures without clover. However, it is important to note that late sowing of grass may not have the opportunity to get established.
For further information please call 0845 070 6280.