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SweetGrass

origin advance efficiency fertilisers                  sweet-grass enhanced grass performance for livestock

SweetGrass is a range of grassland fertilisers containing sodium, specifically designed to increase animal performance from grass.

High in N, SweetGrass increases sward palatability and maximise milk and meat production from grass for optimum economic return.

The key to maximising Dry Matter Intake is highly palatable grass that encourages longer grazing time, higher bite rates and better utilisation of forage. Although sward composition, length of ley and soil fertility all impact on palatability, applying sodium to grass is the simplest and most economic method of ensuring optimum palatability.

Why use SweetGrass?

  • Palatability is key to optimum grass utilisation
  • Sweet-Grass improves palatability
  • Improved palatability = increased intake
  • Improved palatability = tighter grazing
  • Increased intake and tighter grazing = optimum grass utilisation
  • Improving palatability is particularly beneficial when grass becomes less digestible or following slurry application which can ‘sour’ pastures

CASE STUDY:
ROBERT FLEMING AT AGRII’S FORAGE IFARM,

SOUTH MILTON, STRANRAER, JUNE 2016

Agrii conducted a ‘live’ grazing demonstration on sodium with our Forage iFarm partner, Robert Fleming in June 2016.

Ammonium nitrate and SweetGrass were applied to the right and left-hand side of the field respectively. After an hour all the cows and calves were grazing on the SweetGrass side of the field due to the higher levels of palatability, as can be seen in the image below.

See why these cows prefer Sweet-Grass

“I treated half a field with ammonium nitrate and the other half with SweetGrass and put cows and calves into the field as a trial. The cattle could clearly be seen preferentially grazing the SweetGrass side as opposed to the area that was treated with straight nitrogen. The SweetGrass application encouraged intake which should allow us to maximise the cattles’ potential from grazed grass.”

Sodium – an essential nutrient for livestock

Sodium is an essential nutrient for livestock health and performance.
Sodium deficiency can lead to potentially serious clinical disorders and production losses, including:
x Loss of appetite and reduced dry matter intake (DMI)
x Reduced milk yield
x Increased somatic cell count
x Increased risk of hypomagnesaemia (grass staggers)

The benefits of Sodium for grass

Although grass does not need sodium, its uptake produces significant benefits, including:

  • Higher % of live herbage
  • Higher D values
  • Increased sugar content
  • Better utilisation of awards
  • Improved palatability and digestibility

SweetGrass R&D

Extensive trials by the University of Bangor have shown that sodium can increase grass quality and animal performance. Sodium increases the sugar content of grass making it
sweeter and more palatable, and it also stimulates saliva production which increases appetite. This combination of higher palatability and increased appetite ensure higher DMI and improvements in animal output. The table below shows the Bangor data.

Applying agricultural salt – which contains 50% sodium – creates additional work and is not particularly efficient as sodium is not tightly held in the soil. Ideally, sodium should be applied little and often – 10kg/ha for each grazing cycle – to ensure maximum availability and uptake.

the many benefits of SweetGrass

SweetGrass contains a high-quality granular sodium that is compatible with other nutrients, which allows it to be applied within the standard fertiliser programme without any additional work.

SweetGrass can be applied throughout the grazing season at 125-250kg/ha to provide optimum inputs of sodium along with nitrogen and sulphur.
Additional micronutrients, e.g. selenium and copper, can also be added on request

Have a question about SweetGrass? Get in touch:

  • We will only contact you by telephone regarding this enquiry, if for some reason we have problems contacting you by email.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

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We have listened to the expert advice and acted to protect our staff and the wider community and also to ensure that we continue to operate with minimal disruption for our customers. Our COVID-19 risk assessment detailing the measures we are taking can be viewed here. We are taking all necessary measures to ensure our high levels of service are maintained.

We would like to give a big thank you to our customers, suppliers and workforce for their pragmatic response and understanding during this difficult and testing time.