A report on the economics of an extensive range of forage crops has been launched by independent dairy specialists, Kingshay.

The Kingshay 2020 Forage Costings report which is now accessible online, contains useful information to support forage crop selection and is a useful guide to all farmers considering growing a new crop, according to Sarah Bolt, membership development manager.

“It contains information on how to establish, grow and cut or graze more than 30 different forage crops, including details on the soil requirements, weeds, pests and diseases," said Sarah.

"Based on this, it provides a summary of the cost of each, in pence/litre/milk and pence/kg/liveweight gain," she added pointing out that it also compares the energy and protein derived from each crop against wheat and soya.

“This shows how economically efficient a crop is and enables farmers to work out the yield they’d need to make it worthwhile."

Ultimately, the decision to introduce a new forage crop must consider cows’ nutritional requirements, agronomy skills needed, the cost of growing the crop and farm constraints and conditions, such as soils, climate and feeding system.

The Forage Costings Report is free to Kingshay members and can be purchased by non-members. It is available to download from the Kingshay website: