High Sugar Grasses for increased Milk Yields from Forage
Interest in high sugar grass has grown rapidly since the first "Aber" High Sugar Grass varieties, bred for elevated levels of water soluble carbohydrate, were introduced by the Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research (IGER) now known as IBERS.
The levels of sugar in any grass variety will vary according to the seasonal conditions and growth period.
Aber High Sugar Grasses are higher in sugars than other varieties
Differences in sugar as small as 4% can have a marked effect on animal performance. Aber HSG varieties can be up to 50% higher in sugar than conventional grass seed varieties and can show up to 2.5 litres more milk, with dry matter intakes up by 2kg / head / day and live weight gains in youngstock increased by 20%.
Aber HSG diploid varieties such as AberDart have consistently higher sugar contents than both other diploid varieties and tetraploid varieties which in the past have mistakenly been considered to be higher in sugar than diploids.
Aber HSG varieties have also recorded easily the highest D-Values in the NIAB listings for simulated grazing management as well as demonstrating excellent characteristics for a dense, persistent grazing sward.
HSG varieties are equally suited to silage making. Silage made with HSG grass has been shown to retain up to 7 times more sugar than silage made with conventional grass and up to 18 times more sugar when the High Sugar Grass was treated with a silage inoculant. Fermentation quality and nutrient levels were also improved both by use of High Sugar Grass and by use of an inoculant.
There has been much interest in providing increased levels of sugar in the diets of high yielding UK dairy herds. Normally farm livestock only utilise around 20% of the protein in grass. With HSG grass seed varieties this can be more than 50% higher. Sugars provide a source of readily available fermentable energy allowing the rumen microbes to process more forage and to make use of a higher proportion of the degradable protein in the diet in order to produce an increased level of quality microbial protein.
When selecting High Sugar Grass Seed varieties check that they are genuine "Aber" varieties,which are proven HSG varieties which have been evaluated for sugar content. Not all Aber varieties are high sugar varieties, but Aber varieties have been bred specifically for UK conditions over a 20 year breeding program. Aber varieties are now top the NIAB listings with a number of outstanding high sugar varieties including AberAvon, AberDart, AberMagic, AberStar, AberEve and AberEcho. These include some extremely high yielding diploids, with much higher D-Value, higher density and ground cover and better persistency than most varieties sold into the UK agricultural market.
RWN Grass and Clover Mixtures
RWN Grass and Clover Mixtures have been developed specifically to suite the needs of high yielding dairy farms. RWN grass and clover seed mixtures are based on the very best High Sugar Grass and Aber Clover varieties available. They are designed for maximum D-Value, Sugar levels, disease resistance, and persistency as well as forage DM yield. Our mixtures include a wide range of intermediate and late heading diploid as well as HSG tetraploid hybrid grass seed varieties. We use only the best varieties available. The financial benefits of using these best varieties run into hundreds of pounds per acre over the life of the ley. A major benefit to UK Agriculture.
Our focus is on increasing milk yields and profitability of our customers by the use of sound nutrition.
Profitability of dairy farms is governed by high volume, cost effective milk output. It makes sound economic sense to drive milk yields by achieving maximum output from high quality home grown forage. With our advanced silage inoculants we now have the means to preserve more of the sugar and other nutritive characteristics of the growing crop.
For more information contact Richard Webster