RESEED 15% OF YOUR GRASSLAND EVERY YEAR
Planning to reseed 15% of your grassland every year will ensure that, within six years, you’ll have the latest modern grass varieties available across your farm.
When deciding what grass to sow, think about the options and do your research. Don’t just rely on what you know. Grass genetics have changed a lot in the last twenty years - with our grasses showing an average year-on-year improvement in yield of 0.5%. It is unlikely that you’d rely on genetics from a quarter of a century ago for your livestock - so why do the same with grass?
When choosing a grass seed mixture/product, think about what you want the crop to achieve:
- How long do you want it to last? (See the table below for a rough guide)
- What to sow?
- When to sow?
- Will it be cut or grazed? Or both?
- How will your field be grazed?
- Do you need strong ryegrass growth rates early in spring or is late spring feed quality more important?
- Which stock class will use the grass?
|Grass mixture types||Typical duration|
|Annual||Less than 1 year|
|Italian Ryegrass||1 - 2 years|
|Short Rotation||2-4 years|
|Long Rotation||5+ years|
WHAT TO SOW
DIPLOID V TETRAPLOID
If you don’t know much about grass, deciding between a diploid and tetraploid can be difficult/ confusing. Below we’ve detailed some differences to help making the decision-making process easier.
|More dense pasture||More palatable (higher soluble carbohydrate)|
|More forgiving under grazing in stress environmnents||Improved & faster digestibility (higher cell content ratio)|
|More competitive with weeds||Improved utilisation & intake|
|Improved persistence||Improved animal production|
|More clover friendly (10% more clover)|
|Visually more impressive.|
If you are still undecided, you could go for a mixture - giving you the best of both worlds. Whatever route you choose, make sure the seed you pick is able to meet your needs. There can be a big difference in the quality of mixture ranges available. Try to choose products or mixtures that contain grasses which feature on national recommended lists. This will make sure you get a modern, well-developed variety, that will perform as it should.
Once you’ve picked your grass seed mixture, the next step is to create a grassland management plan and decide when would be the best time to take a field out of rotation to sow. Grass seed can be sown at anytime from April to September - ideally when the soil is moist or when rain is forecast and the weather is frost free. If possible keep animals off as long as possible to enable establishment and manage the swards effectively - see Step 4 for other top tips.