Barenbrug Herbal Leys
Blends to boost biodiversity
As well as breeding and trialing grass varieties, we create and trial biodiversity mixtures at our trial site, Cropvale, looking to find the next generation of ‘herbal ley’.
The aim of our biodiversity trials is to come up with an optimum blend of legumes, herbs and grasses, which will be suitable for a wide range of farms throughout the UK. With blends that will produce large volumes of high quality forage, for livestock farmers to increase meat and milk yields, and blends to enhance farm biodiversity. Including legumes in a biodiversity blend is one way to achieve this. Legumes have great nitrogen (N) fixing potential, which means less artificial nitrogen needs to be added to the soil to grow the crops. Deep-rooted species are also employed to improve soil structure while flowering species are utilised to help pollinating insects do their job. Due to the nature of the species involved, weed control in our biodiversity trials is very limited so we score the plots for their natural weed suppression abilities, which will add to the persistency and quality of a mixture in the field. The following are our top performing herbal ley mixtures.