Less Gas More Growth
Monday, 17 August 2009 09:44

LESS gas and more growth from high sugar grass swards is putting a Northern Ireland seed merchant at the heart of a drive to increase milk and meat output off grass, yet reduce greenhouse gas emissions from livestock. Samuel McCausland Ltd in Banbridge, founded in 1825 and still a family firm, are now supplying local farmers with Aber High Sugar Grasses through merchants and co-ops.

Bred at Aberystwyth in Wales these can increase milk production from grass by over two litres a day, give a 20% boost to weight gain in beef cattle and offer similar improvements in lamb growth.

Everyone wants quality and quantity in their sward and in their silo, but when   reseeding also plan to meet new gas emissions livestock regulations

Just as important, livestock grazing swards based on Aber High Sugar varieties produce less potentially harmful greenhouse grasses. GAS

Paddy Boyd, a spokesman for Samuel McCausland explained that farmers reseeding now with Aber varieties benefit not only from lower cost production of milk and meat, but are well placed to meet forthcoming EU regulations restricting the amount of greenhouse gas emissions from livestock enterprises.

“Reseeding with the most up to date varieties of grass makes sound economic sense for many years ahead. Remember, the difference in output from a merely average recommended variety and the latest Aber High Sugar Grasses can be the difference between profit and loss.

In addition the increased efficiency means that less Nitrogen is released to the environment. It is also expected, but not yet proved that methane emissions are similarly reduced.


“Looking to the future needs of farmers and demands of government regulators Samuel McCausland Ltd developed close links with grass breeders, links now yielding huge dividends for Northern Ireland farmers. “Grass sown this month will still be used to produce milk and redmeat five, ten or even 15 years from now when greenhouse gas emissions from stock will be heavily regulated.

“Thankfully, through out network of stockists province wide McCausland’s Aber High Sugar Grasses are easily available to everyone reseeding this year. For minimal extra spend an acre on Aber premium mixes farmers enjoy more income off grass and limit harmful gas emissions for years to come,” Paddy Boyd affirmed.

Cow Trak Impresses
Monday, 17 August 2009 09:30

WALKING the dairy herd four times a day between fields and parlour in our increasingly wet and mild climate was made easier by laying Cow Traks at SAC Crichton Farm, Dumfries reports manager Hugh McClymont.

Last autumn Hugh opted to lay cow friendly walkways to the fields using Cow Traks, a soil stabiliser similar to those used for car parking and buggy tracks at golf courses. Manufactured from recycled waste plastic Cow Traks were supplied by Solway Recycling Ltd of Dumfries, who are launching their latest innovation at the 2009 Royal Highland Show.

Less muck, more money for milk producers! Almost instant walkways laid with Cow Trak proved a time and money saver at SAC Crichton Farm, Dumfries, as even in prolonged wet weather animal health and welfare was not compromised taking cows between fields and milking parlour

Speedily and simply laid on top of the ground this plastic grid requires no prior site preparation, is extremely durable with a 20 tonne axle load carrying capacity and can be lifted to reuse.

SAC’s Hugh McClymont found herd health improved thus cutting costs as the incidence of lameness and other problems such as mastitis was reduced when cows no longer walked through badly churned up ground.

These environmentally friendly walkways require little maintenance, have minimal visual impact and reduce both soil erosion and poaching. A major step forward for dairy farmers as they seek to comply with GAEC, the Good Agricultural and Environmental Conditions, required to secure Single Farm Payments.

Not only livestock, but also vehicles move more easily around a farm on Cow Traks without churning up fields, lanes and gateways.

“With herds of up to a 1000 cows walking considerable distances four or six times a day at milking times Cow Traks have a key role to play in improving herd health and reducing costs,” commented Jim Muir of Solway Recycling. Founded 15 years ago the farm based Dumfries firm takes a Complete Circle Approach by collecting agricultural plastic waste using their award winning Solway Bin and Liner System. This plastic is then recycled into a growing range of durable products including calf and sheep pens, lamb creep feeders, Stokboard, Cow Traks and garden furniture.

For further details of Cow Traks contact, Solway Recycling Ltd, tel; 01387 730666, www.solwayrecycling.co.uk or visit Royal Highland Show Stand 277 on Avenue T.

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