For many, autumn reseeding is the preferred option, due to reduced pressure on grass availability, increased availability of grazing ground after second cut silage, and the threat of drought has subsided.
As autumn progresses, the weather can change quickly so timing is critical; earlier reseeding allows for more flexibility with grazing and weed control. Remember, an unproductive sward could be losing you 3t of dry matter/ha/year. Swards with a low percentage of perennial ryegrass, that are not producing sufficient levels of grass in the shoulders of the year and have a poor response to N, shouldn’t be tolerated on the grazing platform.
As ever, the target turnaround should be 50-60 days with a reseed. Therefore, complete spray-off by mid-august, target first grazing should be approximately the same date in October. Ideally, aim to graze at least once before closing for the winter to create a more established sward for the following spring.
With late autumn reseeds, avoid jeopardising your investment in reseeding by skimping on weed control or missing the window of opportunity. Post-emergence spraying is always your best chance to control weeds, typically applied approximately 5-6 weeks after sowing. When using a clover safe spray, keep in mind these can only be used until the end of September 2022.
Get the seedbed right
One of the most common issues seen this summer has been the inadequate rolling of new reseeds. Rolling is essential to create good soil-to-seed contact and it also helps maintain moisture within the seedbed.
Often new plants emerge quickly where the tractor tyre marks are, or in the headlands due to greater contact; this is a sign the field has been inadequately rolled. Ensure the seed bed is firm, not fluffy – roll prior to sowing if necessary to firm it up.