Saturday, August 24, 2019

New herbal ley mixture for improved soil health

August 8, 2019 by  
Filed under Crops

A new herbal mixture is being launched to meet the growing need to improve farm soil health.

Based around hybrid and perennial ryegrass, the mix includes cocksfoot, timothy, meadow fescue, a range of legumes including red and white clover, alsike, sweet clover and birdsfoot trefoil plus sheeps parsley, burnet, plantain, chicory and yarrow.

Seed and grain specialist Cope Seeds, which formulated the mixture, says many of the herbs have strong root systems and can help to store carbon deep down in the soil as well as naturally helping to break up soil compaction.

Cope Seedas grass and small seeds manager Simon Travers says: “Since Defra’s 25-year environmental plan was released, many farmers are reintroducing grass leys into arable rotations in a bid to improve soil health and we’re adding another option to their armoury.”

The mixture is formulated to produce a sward ideal for grazing or cutting – but with additional benefits to soil structure, nitrogen fixation and mineral and protein content. As helping to improve soil structure, herbs draw up essential vitamins and minerals for ruminants.

“Plantain is a good source of calcium, sodium and copper. Animal health is supported by the anti-worming nature of several herbaceous flowering plants and Chicory1 has been proven to reduce faecal egg counts in lambs and could reduce the use of anthelmintics.”

The mixture is available in both organic (70% organic inclusion) and non-organic forms.