Howard Farms supply an extensive range of grass seed mixtures for intensive dairy farms and drystock farms. We source our grass seeds from different suppliers to ensure our mixtures are suitable for our customers. Our premium mixtures contain some of the best grass varieties on the Irish recommended list with PPI indices up to 174.
We recognise the unique way in which Irish grassland is utilised as well as making up the most cost-effective part of rumen diets is the basis of our products. We take pride in how our products perform on farm and it is the on-farm performance that is the key driver in the growth.
Our Stockman’s Edge grass mixtures have been developed over time to ensure a quality sward is produced. Grass breeding is a slow game, but changes are always afoot, in the development of Stockman’s Edge we partnered up with Agway Milling and DLF Ireland to include varieties being developed at their research site in Ireland in our efforts to continuously improve our offering to farmers.
When formulating our grass mixtures for the right balance of not only yield and quality but also to ensure the best utilisation by the rumen we look at all the data available to us from both the breeder and state recommended lists. The most efficient way to test and separate candidate varieties at trial level is to use a haldrup harvester which is essentially a mini combine harvester for the plots. However, we also recognise that this method of selection will not validate the animal palatability or achievable actual grazing residual of varieties. To evaluate this, DLF started a grass partner program four years ago to assess varieties at farm level. It was immediately obvious that clear differences existed between varieties with varieties like Xenon and Aspect consistently delivering very low residuals and high utilisation rates pointing towards very high palatability.
Teagasc Moorepark took this a step further sowing down all the recommended varieties back in 2016. This year the results of this study are represented by a star system on the 2021 Pasture Profit Index (PPI) with 5 stars being awarded to varieties with only the best grazing utilisation. DLF are the only breeder with two 5-star varieties on the list which backed-up our findings at farm level.
Benefits of our Stockman’s Edge range include:
- TOP GRAZING UTILISATION
DLF Xenon is the top performing variety in Teagasc grazing trials. Xenon is the first NxtGen tetraploid brought to the Irish market. NxtGen varieties have a slender leaf and dense growth habit not associated with traditional tetraploids, combining the grazing ability and quality associated with tetraploids with the dense slender leaf associated with diploids.
DLF Aspect – Second to only Xenon in the Teagasc grazing trials. Aspect has a very high leaf to stem ratio ensuring quality in the leaf throughout the grazing season.
- NEXT GENERATION
DLF Nashota is the second NxtGen variety to the Irish market and ranks up the top of the PPI (€200)– A new variety still waiting for the grazing score on the index but being a sister type to Xenon will be a top grazing variety. The perfect complement to Xenon in a grazing mix providing early spring growth and high quality.
- ULTRA LATE HEADING
DLF Bowie new to the 2021 PPI. Bowie is exceptional in it is an Ultra late heading diploid (16th June). Bowie is a leap forward in terms of Diploid quality for giving a very high-quality score on the 2021 PPI.
Paddocks with poor production and weed grasses, need reseeding to rejuvenate the pasture. Grazing and silage fields need reseeding on average every 7 – 10 years. Our selection of grass seeds mixtures is designed to deliver persistency and quality. All grass varieties in the Howard Farms premium range are listed on the Department of Agriculture Recommended list and ranked on the Teagasc Pasture Profit Index (PPI). Our Eco range contains varieties tested both in Ireland and the UK.