Grassland Species

ryegrass.JPG (20512 bytes) Perennial Ryegrass (PRG) dominates any seed mixture of intensive British agricultural grasslands. This species of grass produces an excellent yield and has a high sugar content. It responds well to large applications of nitrogen fertiliser, producing a good yield of grass which may be cut and/or grazed many times during the growing season. Other species include Italian Ryegrass (IRG). This grass is high yielding, especially early in the season. Hybrid ryegrasses are also used which have the yields of IRG but with durability and long life more usually associated with Perennial Ryegrass.
prgfield.JPG (28876 bytes) There is more to grass production than the sheer volume of the crop. The grass also has to be palatable to livestock as well as readily digestible. It also has to withstand constant cutting and grazing for a number of years. Careful and ongoing selection through numerous trials and plant breeding programmes has ensured that PRG meets the criteria of yield, digestibility, palatability and robustness better than any other grass.
clover.JPG (18252 bytes) The seed mixture which is sown by the farmer may include other grasses as well as species such as clover. Clover is protein rich and palatable. It can also capture nitrogen from the atmosphere through a symbiotic partnership with soil bacteria. The nitrogen is fixed in nodules in the roots of clover and this ultimately enhances soil nitrogen levels. In the past high levels of nitrogen fertiliser fertiliser deterred White Clover. The newer varieties of White Clover are more tolerant of high levels of nitrogen fertiliser, providing not too much is applied in the spring. White Clover is also suitable for grasslands which are both grazed and used for silage making.


More information on seed mixtures here (external link)