After what has been a tumultuous year weather wise, many reseeding plans have been either placed on hold or delayed, so it’s important getting back on track with reseeding. However, it is worth considering that in any year where the 10% target (grazing ground) is not achieved, there is rarely the opportunity in the subsequent year to take out 15%-plus of the grazing block over one season. For many, early autumn reseed is the preferred option to reseed grazing ground due to reduced pressure on grass availability of grazing ground after second cut silage. The fear of drought has also subsided in drier regions.
The changing weather
However, as experienced during mid and late July, the weather can change quickly! As autumn progresses, timing is critical; and the earlier we plan on completing our reseed, the more flexibility we have regarding grazing and weed control. Remember, an unproductive sward could be losing you 3t of Dry Matter/ha/year – with input prices at the farm gate where they are currently, swards with low percentages of perennial ryegrass not producing sufficient levels of grass in the shoulders of the year, and have a poorer response to N, shouldn’t be tolerated on the grazing platform. As ever, the target turnaround should be 50 to 60 days with a reseed – therefore if we complete spray-off by mid-August, target first grazing should be approximately the same date in October.
One grazing before winter
Ideally, we should aim to get at least one grazing before 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 five to six weeks after sowing. One of the most the common issues seen annually is the inadequate rolling of new reseeds. Creating a firm seedbed is critical.
Often new plants emerge quickest where the tractor tyre marks are, or in the headlands due to the increased contact. This is typically the first sign that the field has been inadequately rolled where moisture is adequate. Ensure the seed bed is firm, not fluffy – so roll prior to sowing if necessary to firm up.
For more information or advice, contact your local sales advisor.