The Integration of Multi-Species Swards into Dairy Farm Systems


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Dairy Farmer, Joe Leonard, and Seed Merchant, Tom McGuinness, join Emma-Louise Coffey on this week’s Dairy Edge podcast to discuss the integration of multi-species swards into dairy farm systems.

During a trip to South Africa in 2016, Joe observed multi-species swards in practice and his interest was piqued. From 2017, Joe set about incorporating multi-species into his reseeding plans.

Tom McGuinness explains that in the mid 2010s, there was little interest in multi-species and it was limited to beef and sheep farmers. This has increased to in excess of 1,650 acres in 2021. Tom explains that this is owing to farmers’ awareness and willingness to work to reduce their environmental footprint.

Joe explains that grass productivity and cow performance with multi-species swards is comparable with his traditional perennial ryegrass swards although his grazing management differs with higher pre-grazing mass and higher residual in order to promote persistency.

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