Now is an appropriate time to put a plan in place and identify fields that should be targeted for reseeding. Grass is the cheapest way to feed ruminant livestock, therefore achieving maximum growth from it is the most profitable way forward on any livestock farm.
A high level of management is required to ensure that the reseeding process is carried out properly, as too often, the return on investment is restricted due to poor sward establishment. The two most important things to focus on are; the quality of the swards and the fertility of the soil.
Like any investment, grassland reseeding should be carefully planned to minimise the cost and maximise the return.
- Identify the lowest performing areas, i.e. below farm average grass growth/ha or a noticeable drop in animal performance.
- Identify the resources behind this drop in performance. For example, does the sward contain less than 40% perennial ryegrass?
- Has the soil received adequate Phosphorus (P), Potassium (K) and Lime? Carry out a soil sample if required.
To achieve maximum results from your new reseed and to improve the productivity of the sward, soil fertility must be correct. Prior to reseeding, it is crucial to carry out soil tests for Phosphorus (P), Potassium (K) and pH, testing to a minimum of 10 cm soil depth.
Your fertiliser plan is crucial, as this will address any soil fertility issues. Where soil fertility is below the recommended rate, it will require 2 to 3 bags of 10-10-20 to provide enough P to feed the sward, kick start early growth and allow the sward to reach its full potential. Early P is essential for root development, as it feeds the roots and the roots feed the leaf. Nitrogen (N) without P, only feeds the leaf and does not achieve the same response.
Grass Mixture Choice
According to Agritech’s Business Development Manager, Bil Ryan, once you identify your areas for reseeding, decide whether it will be used for grazing or silage, as this will influence your grass mixture type.
“Agritech’s Tipperary Grass Seed Range has a mix for every situation and has built an excellent reputation with farmers throughout the country for delivering optimal germination, establishment and increased yield in new grass leys,” states Bil.
Agritech’s flagship premium mixture, Tipperary Grass No. 4A is suitable for intensive paddock grazing, whereas Tipperary Grass No.2 can be used for a less intensive grazing system. Tipperary Grass No.5 is designed to produce up to five cuts of high quality forage as zero grazing or three cuts of silage and the traditional Tipperary Grass No.3 is ideal for two cuts of silage, plus shoulder grazing.