How can breeding by DLF and grass seed production help dairy farmers in increased production of milk and meat?
For production of high quality forage, several different quality parameters have to be considered and every single parameter must be optimized for getting the most value for money in your dairy and meat production.
Protein content, high digestibility and durability are just some of the quality parameters that the farmer should focus on and that starts in the field.
DLF visited Peter Juel, an organic dairy producer. We wanted to hear what quality parameters he focuses on. Peter Juel is a passionate, young, Danish farmer who runs an organic farm. The farm is 370 ha with 190 dairy cows and a production of 12.000 kg milk per cow. Feeding is 70 % quality forage based on mixtures from DLF consisting of OVAMBO 1, HUMBI 1 and ABOSAN 1.
Analyse the process, examine the potential of grasses and focus on quality every day
Peter Juel is able to talk for a long time when asked about selection of varieties and seedlings. Peter Juel indeed found the advantage of utilizing the latest genetics in grasses for forage, thus achieving a much higher quality in his feed with increased milk production as the major benefit.
"Even before establishing the grassland, I make the first but basic choices in relation to my quality demands for the forage I want to feed my cows", says Peter Juel, who continues: "I compose my mixture of grasses on the basis of the latest genetics and have chosen OVAMBO 1, ABOSAN 1 and HUMBI 1 from DLF ".
"Selection of varieties and correct grass mixtures really makes a difference," says Peter Juel, emphasizing that soil's fertility and sludge strategy of course should be considered. Selection of varieties from DLF has given Peter Juel an increased yield and durable fields with consistent quality and higher milk yield.
Rapid germination and robust plants make a difference and as an ecologist, Peter Juel has also learned that the vitality of the seed and the robustness of the variety make is important. "It is difficult to fight weed in organic production, so it is important to use sturdy, durable and strong varieties with good germination and, in particular, create a good groundcover in the pasture," says Peter Juel.
Peter Juel confirms that focus on breeding, testing in extreme conditions, correct selection of grass species and grass mixtures, high seed quality and proper management pays off.
The top species from DLF, as Peter Juel uses, have yielded a significantly higher yield of up to 2,470 feed units per hectare during the three years of use in the 2011-2013 and 2013-2015.