Douglas Bonn on preparation for our 2024 demos

As the shed doors close after a challenging harvest ‘23 we have been busy sowing the Nickerson demonstration sites for the coming season.

We have three sites this year.  In Aberdeenshire at Savock Farms, Ellon by kind permission of Andrew Booth.

Savock Farms, Ellon

Barelees Farm, Borders

 

In Fife at Wellsgreen Farm by kind permission of WS & J Whiteford and in conjunction with Forth Crop Solutions and in the borders at Barelees Farm by kind permission of the Todd family.

At each site we have current popular varieties and new varieties to look at from both the Limagrain wheat breeding program as well as other breeders.  Our focus this year has been on seed rates, so many varieties have been sown at different rates.

Wellsgreen Farm, Fife

Cultivation and the rotation position is different on each site.  At Savock the demonstration is after winter oil seed rape, cultivated with a Simba XL and sown with an Amazon drill, at Wellsgreen the demonstration is following spring barley cultivated with Simba SL and sown with a Lemken power harrow drill.  The Barelees site is after peas harvested in June and then sown in a cover crop.  Most of the field was cultivated with a Terrano the day before sowing with an area left to allow us to drill into the cultivated area and directly into the cover crop with a Vaderstad Rapid.

Updates will be posted throughout the season but if anyone would like to visit any of the sites please contact either Nick or Douglas.

Before you drill grass

The two main factors to consider are your soil status and condition.

Ensure the area is tested for appropriate nutrient levels – pH, in particular, is vitally important.

Full Reseed

Full Reseed: soil needs to be consolidated, which starts early. Every pass should aim to further consolidate the seedbed. Do not wait and roll it twice afterwards – the area will be far more level and uniform if you start consolidation early. Ideally, roll prior to sowing as this also gives a more uniform sowing depth.

Longer term leys will achieve a greater ground cover if the seed is broadcast uniformly, as it attains a high percentage of yield from tiller density.

Short term leys tiller density and growth habit are different, so sowing in rowsq using a conventional drill can be an option.

A two-year break from long term grass is ideal to reduce the risk of pests. Failing this, reducing pest population and dense organic matter can often be achieved by using a grazing catch crop, such as stubble turnips.

Overseeding

Overseeding is simply a short-term fix and will not have a long-term benefit.

It will allow a yield increase in many situations but a field by field assessment is essential. Firstly, consider any pests and how to control them. Secondly, assess the level of undesirable plant species that are present.

More Information

To learn more about Circle Leys, download the Brochure here.

Circle Leys Brochure

To view the Circle Leys range, click here

Or contact your local Seed Specialist.
Forages to use with grass

While grass leys provide the backbone of all ruminant diets there are a plethora of other forages.

All these forages maximise their potential when matched with a quality Nickerson Circle Ley.

Maize

Fraser-House-in-maize-cropLG maize is a perfect complement to all Circle Leys, with excellent agronomic and feeding characteristics.

Fodder beet

LG fodder beet provides an excellent energy source combined with superb dietary fibre.

Lucerne

Lucerne offers a superb forage with the most rumen friendly protein source

Cereals

LG cereals offer many opportunities as a complementary feed in terms of wholecrop and grain using numerous different methods

More Information
Contact your local Seed Specialist.
What are GPA and SFC?

To improve establishment, most Circle Leys are treated with a GPA and Seed Film Coating as standard.

Growth Promoting Agent

GPA (Growth Promoting Agent) is a researched blend of nutrients essential for plant growth. These stimulate seedling germination, particularly under stress conditions and also encourage larger root systems, enabling the plants to absorb soil nutrients more efficiently.

Seed Film Coating

Seed Film Coating is a technique that forms a polymer film around the seed in which a range of conventional and innovative seed treatments can be carried. Seed Film Coating offers a number of major benefits to the seed and its application.

• Accurate application of GPA seed treatment
• Increased efficacy of the GPA
• Less dust in the seed
• Improved establishment

More Information

To learn more about Circle Leys, download the Brochure here.

Circle Leys Brochure

To view the Circle Leys range, click here

Or contact your local Seed Specialist.
What sets Nickerson seed quality apart?

The UK’s finest range of grass mixtures

Mixture trialling

Nickerson believe in the importance of mixture trialling. Recommended Lists from DARD, NIAB and SAC are used as a starting point, but these take little account of how individual varieties perform when grown together in a farmer’s grass ley. This is where Nickerson research begins. Circle-Leys-Trial-Site

Mixture trialling is the key to ensuring that only the very best grass mixtures find their way onto your farm.

Highest seed standards possible

Good establishment is essential to achieve full production potential. Poor establishment results in weed invasion, increased poaching and loss of yield. Seed of the highest quality is therefore critical to achieve good establishment.

Germination standards

Nickerson Germination Standards

Purity standards

Purity Standards

More Information

To learn more about Circle Leys, download the Brochure here.

Circle Leys Brochure

To view the Circle Leys range, click here

Or contact your local Seed Specialist.
Why Circle Leys is trusted by generations; past, present and future

Over the last 70 years farming has evolved significantly.

However, during that time the one aspect that hasn’t changed is the need for high quality forage as grazed grass or conserved forage to feed ruminant animals.

Almost 70 years ago Fred Craven created a group of leys for Sir Joseph Nickerson designed with a specific purpose in mind. In the subsequent years we have added to this mixture range as farming has changed and we have adapted the mixtures accordingly.

Core benefits such as yield, disease resistance and other agronomic characteristics are vital to production and are attained through use of unique and varied varieties from a range of plant breeders worldwide.

Unashamedly we have remained totally faithful to the original thought process based around high quality forage. Dry Matter Intake and overall D-value/ME are the main drivers throughout the range, allowing the ruminant to maximise intake and therefore maintenance and production from forage.

More Information

To learn more about Circle Leys, download the Brochure here.

Circle Leys Brochure

To view the Circle Leys range, click here

Or contact your local Seed Specialist.