Pasture renovation with forage mixtures

Description

The farm reseeds grasslands with multispecies forage mixtures. These mixtures include grass and legumes in order to increase the forage production, to enhance the protein content (less purchase of protein concentrates) and to reduce the need for mineral fertilisation. These are Swiss mixtures from the MH company. In practice this seeding can happen at any time between March and September as long as the temperature and the moisture of the soil is sufficient.

Not all grasses and legumes are suited for overseeding. This is where the knowledge and the know-how of the farmer comes to application. The situation of every plot has to be studied, to see which mixture would be most suited.

In opposition to bulking up for silage or hay, grazing is much prefered once the seed has been sown then this way the newly emerging seedlings have the best chances to grow.

For permanent grassland that are impossible to plough, an over seeding is practiced. In other cases, the land is plowed and totally reseeded. But the reseeding of pastures can be difficult and is not always a success since there are a lot of factors that come to play, like the weather on which the farmer doesn’t have an impact.

Farm description

Environment

  • Florennes Belgium
  • Clay and Limestone soil types
  • Temperate oceanic climate
  • Altitude: 260 m
  • Slope: 0 %

Grassland management

  • Grazing : Yes
  • Grazing management type: rotational stocking

Structure

  • Annual Work Unit: 1.5
  • Specialist beef-cattle rearing farm with around 300 cattle
  • Agricultural Area : 120 ha UAA
  • 3.4 LU/ha
  • 70 ha grassland
  • Belgian blue cattle

Animal performance

  • 720 kg meat/suckler cow/year
  • 1100 kg meat/ha/year
  • Average lifetime of the suckler cows: 4.5 year

Why it is working

This innovation is working because of the willingness of the farmer and of the training on this topic he had in other countries . Once you have the knowledge and the know-how there seems to be a lot to be gained out of this practice of overseeding.

Additional information

Farming system

conventional farming

Domains of innovation

forage mixture, legume management – Perennial legumes

Main types of animal

beef cattle

Country

Belgium

Product type

Farmer portrait

Language

English, French

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