Minimising Soil Disturbance – Grass & Cattle – Agricology Vlog Oct 2019
Richard Smith of Daylesford Organic Farms talks about grass leys and how they put them into stubble, and undersowing grass leys into cereal crops. He explains how they’ve sown the grass seed on a farm they’ve just taken on – where they’ve had to lightly cultivate the topsoil due to not being able to go in until the end of August (therefore not having enough time to undersow).
He touches on some of the benefits of sowing red clover and ryegrass and talks about the virtues of the mouldboard plough in their farming system (particularly for ensuring a good clean seedbed) but stresses he tries to keep soil disturbance down to a minimum. He advises sowing grass seed in the autumn, not the spring, unless you’re undersowing. When undersowing a cereal crop, he’ll drill the cereal crop, then 6 weeks later harrow comb the crop whilst also applying the grass seed. He has established some of the best leys ever through this undersowing technique.
Richard also shows us the type of Friesian cow they’re breeding and his Hereford-cross cows that have gone to a beef sire – they are the result of the pedigree Friesian crossed with pure Hereford; and are a very sustainable cow that are not fed any corn. They now have dairy cows producing milk, beef from the bull calves / secondary heifers, and this single suckle herd.
* Apologies for the wind noise in the video