Arable farming

Rich soils on the estate make it ideal for growing arable crops.

Grosvenor Farms grows wheat, barley, oilseed rape, maize and grass across 2,200 hectares (5,600 acres).

The integration of arable and dairy farming is an important part of our sustainable farming system.

The arable operation provides feed and bedding for the dairy herd and, in turn, the organic manures from the cows are used as natural fertilisers and soil conditioners for the crops.

This complementary process significantly reduces the farm’s dependence on artificial fertilisers and also helps to enhance the life of our soil – any farm’s most valuable asset. The remainder of our crops are sold for food.
  
The predominant feed our dairy cows and heifers enjoy is forage.

This is grown in the summer months, harvested and stored so that it can be used all year round. The cows will each eat around 40kg of food per day, which means we need to grow around 25,000 tonnes of forage per year just to feed our livestock.

Both grass and maize silage are grown to a high specification to produce as much energy, protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals as we can from our own land.

The grasses we grow are a combination of seeds alongside established native grasses from our fields and flood meadows. Three cuts of grass are taken during the summer and stored in silage clamps to provide cattle feed over the following 12 months. The grass is spread after mowing and allowed to wilt for 24 hours before being harvested with a large self-propelled forager.

Maize silage is grown annually to provide high-energy forage for our cows. It is sown in April after a dressing of organic manures and harvested in September where, like the grass, it is stored in airtight clamps.

Forage is fed to the cows in a balanced mixed ration alongside home-grown grains and bought in vegetable proteins such as soya beans and rapeseed meal.

Combine Harvester