Choosing Grass seed in 2019

After the pretty miserable winter in 2018, with the Beast from the East and continual wet weather thought the spring, forage stocks were depleted. A very dry summer then followed, with grass leys and other crops productivity suffering from drought – a very far thought from the wet winter!

With this in mind,  forage stocks will need to be replenished, and if possible, producing a buffer amount for that just in case, of a repeat of last year.

Grass is a versatile forage, for both grazing and conserving. Creating a mixture offers more flexibility with end use and the ability to fit in most situations. We have mixtures available from a one-year bulk silage production to permanent grazing.

Italian Ryegrass offers a short-term mix that will produce the bulk, ideal for silage. Comparatively, a longer-term mix, with Perennial Ryegrass can be used for either cutting or grazing, with persistently good yields.

Creating a mix will offer more flexibility; adding timothy in for palatability and the ability to grow in colder wetter conditions; adding clover in for its nutritional value and benefits the soil; adding cocksfoot will be beneficial for more slightly drought tolerance.


The balance of Tetraploid to Diploid grasses will also need to be considered. Tetraploids offer increased palatability with increased sugars and more upright growth, perfect for cutting and grazing. Diploids are more persistent with higher dry matter.

Spring seeding has its benefits, offering a grater window of good establishment conditions (in a normal year). This gives the ley better chance to outcompete weeds, and it won’t head in its first season. For legumes, spring is better due to the warmer soil temperatures.

We have a range of mixtures to suit requirements, that take into consideration the main use, duration of the ley and species used. 

For good quality grass conserved for silage, inoculants can be hugely beneficial. Pioneer’s products help to reduce dry matter losses through fermentation and aerobic spoilage and have been proven through extensive trial work to improve milk output from cows which are fed treated silage. Bartholomews can offer the complete Pioneer silage additive range to ensure you get the best results from your crop. The best all round product is Pioneer 1188, ideally suited to silage below 30% dry matter, and designed to boost animal performance.