Independent dairy specialists have released a report on the economics of an extensive range of forage crops. The Kingshay 2020 Forage Costings report, now accessible online, contains useful information to support with forage crop selection.
“The report is a useful guide for farmers considering growing a new forage crop,” says Sarah Bolt, membership development manager at Kingshay.
“It contains information on how to establish, grow and cut or graze over 30 different forage crops, including details on the soil requirements, weeds, pests and diseases. Based on this, it provides a summary of the cost of each, in pence/litre/milk and pence/kg/liveweight gain.”
Sarah explains the report also compares the energy and protein derived from each crop against wheat and soya.
“This shows how economically efficient it is and enables farmers to work out the yield they’d need to make it worthwhile,” she says.
“Ultimately, the decision to introduce a new forage crop must consider cows’ nutritional requirements, agronomy skills needed, the cost of growing the crop and farm constraints and conditions, such as soils, climate and feeding system.
“The report provides extensive information that can help with comparing options and selecting a new forage crop.”
The Forage Costings Report is free to Kingshay members and can be purchased by non-members. It is available to download from the Kingshay website: https://www.kingshay.com/shop/forage-costings-report-2020/