Cefngwilgy Fawr Project Introduction: Improving home grown feed value from clovers
Site: Cefngwilgy Fawr
Address: The Gorn, Llanidloes, Powys, SY18 6LA
Technical Officer: Elan Davies
Project Title: Improving home grown feed value from clovers
Introduction to project:
The main aim of the project at Cefngwilgy Fawr is to improve the quality of homegrown feed by introducing white and red clover into the grazing and cutting sward. By introducing clover into existing leys, there is potential to decrease the reliance on artificial fertilisers by maximising the clover’s nitrogen fixing potential. This project also aims to assess the impact of higher quality forage on lamb finishing weights and days to slaughter.
Clovers (white and red) are a good source of protein in ruminant diets, both when grazed or silaged. Clover will also fix nitrogen (N) so less artificial nitrogen fertiliser is required for grass growth. Clover-rich swards fit well into forage rotations and benefit soil fertility and structure. Including clover into swards fit well with sustainable farming as methane emissions from livestock increase as forage quality reduces.
- Reduce purchased concentrates by improving forage quality.
- Reduce artificial fertiliser use by increasing clover nutrient benefit.
- Improve finishing weights of lambs with improved grazing options.
- Reduce days to slaughter of lambs with improved grazing options.
Key Performance Indicators Set:
- To reduce fertiliser input by 40kgN/ha per silage cut.
- To increase clover content in the reseeded fields from <5% to >20%.
- To reduce the amount of purchased concentrates by 10% (i.e. increase CP of forage on the reseeded fields from 12% to 20% due to increase in clover [and yields from 5tDM to 10tDM] – that would equate to an additional 1,400kgCP – being the equivalent of about 3t of hipro soya or £1,000 worth).
- To increase average lamb weight and percentage lambs finished by 1 September.
Timeline and Milestones: