Killinchy farmer produces exceptionally high yielding pea and tritical
6 acres, 100 tonnes, 1 cut
Beef farmer Andrew Hayes from Killinchy, County Down, produced an exceptionally high yielding crop last summer, having trialled a mixture of peas and triticale in a six acre field.
Andrew was amazed by the results, with the bi-crop coming in at over 16 tonnes per acre. He explains how, with the guidance of Morton’s agronomist Jonathan Hawthorne, these results were achieved,
“Typically we feed clamp silage to stock, top dressed with bruised barley and a beef blend, but last spring I decided to trial a six acre field with a Morton's F1 mixture of peas and triticale for whole-cropping,” said Andrew Hayes.
“The crop was late sown into a ley field on the 23rd April last year and was given 2.5 bags of triple 16 fertiliser based on soil analysis. With such a good growing year in 2013, I added a little extra nitrogen in mid May, but given that peas fix their own nitrogen, it probably wasn't necessary.
“We fed it to all the beef stock along with some grass silage and they loved it. Finishing animals got topped up with beef blend morning and evening,” Andrew said.
JD Townley & Son cut the whole-crop with a self propelled harvester on the 20th August and it was treated with Biotal additive Whole-crop Legume.
Andrew continues, “I'd only budgeted for 75 tonnes but the contractor said it was one of the biggest crops he'd seen - we lifted just over 100 tonnes of fresh forage, 7 tonnes of DM per acre.”
Andrew has noted that his slurry tanks are only half as full – an additional benefit to feeding the whole-crop, “I believe the animals are utilising the protein in the diet better than if they were on just grass silage.
“The results have been excellent and I'm considering trialling a mixture of Wheat & Lupins this year - if the ground ever dries up!”
Pictured is 16 year old Lauren Hayes, daughter of beef farmer Andrew Hayes, from Killinchy, County Down