Repair damaged swards as early as possible Last year’s wet summer and autumn has left its mark on swards, leaving many grass fields in need of restoration this spring, according to Lincoln-based Oliver Seeds general manager, Rod Bonshor (right). “Having animals and traffic running on soggy, soft fields is never good and, as we come to the end of winter, affected fields are now looking poor,” he said.
“If farmers do nothing, they will suffer from lower yields and quality for grazing and conservation. With some farmers already running out of silage to feed this winter, something has to be done to bolster grass yields.” Damaged, open leys give plants like grass weeds, moss and broad-leaved weeds the chance to take hold. Low lime levels
Frost damaged swards.
and soil nutrient levels add to a sward’s demise. “Tired leys really need invigorating and renovating,” says Mr Bonshor. “Weed grasses may turn green when fertilised, but they are poor utilisers of nitrogen and very low in feed quality.” He urges farmers with problem fields to tackle them as soon as travelling conditions allow. This may be by scarifying or aeration. In cases where compaction is evident deeper soil treatment may be needed to restore a healthy soil structure essential for good root development and growth. Grass fields that have large bare patches of soil showing need overseeding with large seeded, aggressive species that will germinate and grow away quickly. “We have a dedicated overseeding mixture called Typhoon, which has vigorous varieties that are ideal for either surface or slot seeding,” explains Mr Bonshor. “It contains hybrid and tetraploid ryegrasses and also a high proportion of Lofa festulolium, which works well in stressful
Grass fields that have large bare patches of soil showing, need over-seeding with large seeded, aggressive species that will germinate and grow away quickly.
situations. “Measuring and correcting any soil nutrient deficiencies now will also help to get things right at relatively low cost, while ensuring enough forage is grown for the coming year and next winter.” ■
New distributor for eastern counties Major Equipment has appointed Thurlow Nunn Standen (TNS) as the new distributor for its agricultural and grounds maintenance machines in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. TNS will be responsible for sales, spare parts and service of the full line of Major products including grass toppers, amenity roller mowers, slurry tankers and slurry application systems. This agreement is part of Major’s long term plan to consolidate its UK dealer network to provide better service to customers.
“TNS is a highly experienced and progressive machinery dealership,” said James Cox, area sales manager with Major. “This is an important step in a key geographical area for Major and we are delighted that TNS is on board with us.” TNS sales director Chris Tew said: “We are delighted to have been awarded the Major agency for the eastern counties. The Major product line-up has an excellent reputation and our team is looking forward to representing it in our region.”
Thurlow Nunn Standen is the new distributor for Major Equipment in the eastern counties.
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Farmers Guide Magazine February 2018 Issue