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ADVERTORIAL: Looking for an edge? You should be looking at the hedge
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ADVERTORIAL: Looking for an edge? You should be looking at the hedge
on 14 May 2021
Tom Stapleton of Soil Ireland explains how sowing different herbs and grasses into your pasture can rejuvenate your land and provide a varied diet for your horses

THE primary source of nutrition for your breeding and young stock at this time of year is your grassland.

It is important to optimise the nutritional density of that grass and give the best opportunity for your land to feed your horses. When was the last time that you got your grass or forage analysed?

Forage analysis is an accurate way to identify what the nutritional intake of your horses are when grazing your land. The nutritional density of the forage has an impact on the performance, health, development, and wellbeing of your horses.

Variety

Some say they can communicate with you, but if your horse could talk to you what type of performance appraisal would they give you on your performance as a farmer?

If you were eating the same thing every day you would get tired of it very quickly. It would become boring and unsatisfying. It has become the norm for horses and other farm animals to be fenced in, without access to the diversity of the ditches and hedgerows.

The ‘pick and mix’ of vitamins and minerals found in the leaves along the ditches are vital. Everyone is looking for an edge when they should be looking at the hedgerow itself.

We can bring the range of vitamins and minerals from the ditch into the fields and provide the diversity in your horse’s diet by sowing a variety of grass seeds and herbs into the pasture. This will rejuvenate the fields but more importantly provide a varied diet for your horses. Here are some herbs and grasses that you should consider stitching into established pasture: timothy, yarrow, chicory, burnet, sheep’s parsley and many more.

Soil: where it all begins

Is your soil functioning? The soil is organic matter, rock particles, air, water and micro life.

A healthy soil will help the uptake of nutrients into the plant and the animal will have access to better quality forage. In one teaspoon of soil there are billions of microbes and bacteria.

One company that specialise in bringing the soil back to life is a company called SOBAC.

SOBAC is a company based in the south of France specialising in organic soil amendments. SOBAC came to Ireland back in 2012 in partnership with our company, P&T Stapleton Limited. SOBAC’s products Bacteriolit and Bacteriosol are made up of a complex of micro-organisms which improves the level of micro-life in the soil, allowing the soil to fulfil its full natural cycle.

It was developed by Marcel Mezy, a French farmer, in the 1980s. It also helps to transform organic matter into humus. We provide an advisory service to stud farms and racecourses in Ireland and the UK on all aspects of soil health.

Bacteriosol

Bacteriosol is a granulated soil amendment can be spread in a normal fertiliser spreader. The application rate is 40kg per acre for stud farms and the application rate for racecourses is 80kg per acre.

We are currently working with a number of stud farms and racecourses who are using Bacteriosol, and we are advising them on all aspects of soil health which improves the surface and soil structure.

Bacteriolit

Bacteriolit is the first product that Sobac developed. It is a selection of microorganisms. It can be added to the bedding of animals to reduce ammonia, reduce smells and toxins.

It is ideal for use in stables. It can be used in slurry tanks and dry bedding of cattle also. It is very effective at breaking down organic matter and composting straw.

Soil Ireland provide an advisory service to stud farms and racecourses in Ireland and the UK.

For more information call Tom Stapleton on 087-2328051.

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