Grassland & Muck is a unique event in that we grow and manage a silage grass crop specifically for the event. Working with the host farmer and a collection of key suppliers we aim to provide the perfect silage crop for machinery demonstrations at the event.
Working with our event partner Yara we started by soil testing the entire event site in August 2016. The samples were analysed by Yara Analytical Services and the results informed the subsequent nutrient management plan. Some areas of the site were identified with a lower than optimum pH and were treated with lime. P and K levels were good so no autumn fertilizer was required. Spring fertilizer applications will be planned in line with grass growth and soil nutrient requirements.
Our agrochemical partners for the event are Agrovista and we have worked closely with their agronomist Philip Merchant to manage the weeds across the event site. The first step in August 2016 was spraying off the rape volunteers from the previous cropping, before the grass was drilled. A mix of Lupo and Gal-gone was applied to the whole site in mid September and generally worked well. Some areas of Mayweed required treatment of Leystar in March 2017.
Working with farm manager Alan Hunt, we manage the grass growth throughout the year to provide an optimum silage sward for the machinery demonstrations at the event. The grass was sown on 30th August 2016 and established well, so much so that we had to get the mower out three times to control growth in the autumn. Throughout the spring we shall carefully monitor grass growth and mow it again as required. Opico, who are exhibiting at the event, have kindly lent Alan a set of 6.3m He-va Rolls which will be out on site in March.
For 2017 we have sown a 75% Italian Ryegrass and 25% Hybrid mix to give us the best silage crop for the event in May. Working with Oliver Seeds who exhibit their varieties and mixes at the event the below mix was chosen as the two Festuloliums have performed extremely well in the plots at the last event. 25% Alamo Italian ryegrass 25% Fox Italian ryegrass 25% Lofa Festulolium 25% Perseus Festulolium This mix was sown on 30th August 2016 at a rate of 14 kilos per acre. For the trade stand area an amenity mix of Pro Master 51 was sown at a rate of 100 kilos per acre.