NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Topping a field  (Read 597 times)

Nelson International

  • Joined Aug 2017
Topping a field
« on: September 13, 2017, 11:01:36 am »
Our field has a bit of a rush problem, so we're getting a hold of a mower to start the process of trying to at least stem the spread. I've read somewhere that horses shouldn't be put in a paddock that's been cut because the cut grass ferments and is no good for them. So, I have two questions extending this too sheep - firstly do I need to keep the sheep out of an area that I've cut, and secondly, if so for how long?

Voss Electric Fence


  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Staffordshire
Re: Topping a field
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2017, 11:26:03 am »
I top with the sheep in the field, no problems


  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Topping a field
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2017, 01:29:10 pm »
I would think it depends on how lush the grass is.  If it's long and very green, then it can be a problem, so we leave the clippings to dry on the surface and pop the sheep into another paddock for a few days.  If the grass is all flowered stalks then it's fine to have the sheep left in.

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus


  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Topping a field
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2017, 03:28:28 pm »
If you're only topping where the reshes are bad, not the good grass, I wouldn't worry.  If you're topping a whole field of grass, I'd probably let it wilt a day or two before putting sheep on. 

Just be aware that reshes are fantastic shelter for sheep, especially with young lambs, so don't top them all out of existence unless there is other good shelter!  If they're huge and strong, but you do still want shelter, you could top 2/3 this year, leaving patches for the sheep to use over winter and in spring. Then next year, top the bits you left this year, plus go over half of what you did this year again.  Something like that.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Nelson International

  • Joined Aug 2017
Re: Topping a field
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2017, 08:24:02 pm »
Thanks a lot, that sounds fine. And yes, we've got rush enough to cut that leaving a few patches won't be the slightest problem.


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