Andrew Martin (our Chairman) gave a talk recently to the Dyfed Smallholders’ Association on the Meadows Group. After the talk, a discussion on various aspects of grassland management threw up two problems some of the smallholders were having. Andrew couldn’t offer any advice as he had not had any experience of either.
One was that, having introduced yellow rattle to their field (a proven way of speeding up the establishment of other flower species), the couple have found that it has become so dominant that they are not going to get much hay crop from it this year – and they need the hay! The usually recommended way to sort this out is to mow some of the field before the yellow rattle has seeded, and because it’s an annual it won’t come back that year (it has a relatively short life in the seed bank also). The problem is that they are not allowed to cut any of the field early because of the terms of their Glastir advanced agreement. So, what should they do? Any suggestions, please add a comment after this post.
The second problem was from a different couple who have found that their previously flower-rich meadow is becoming dominated by purple moor grass Molinia which is outcompeting the flowering herbs. Unfortunately, we are not sure where exactly they are or the soil type, or its nutrient status, or whether they manage it by grazing or mowing. But if anyone has any experience of having to control Molinia for this reason, again do please add a comment after this post.