Have you taken a paddock out for reseeding?

The past spell of dry weather gave many farmers the opportunity to take out an under-performing paddock(s) for reseeding.

The management of a newly reseeded sward – in the first eight weeks – is critical in ensuring the successful establishment and grass production potential of the new sward is achieved.

Weed control

The best opportunity to control docks and other weeds – such as chickweed – in a sward is after reseeding.

The timing of spraying is hugely important when trying to eradicate weeds in a newly established reseed.

The weeds should be sprayed before the first grazing and when they are at the seedling stage – before they develop their roots.

Furthermore, the grass plant should be at the two to three leaf stage.

The choice of herbicide will depend on the most prominent weed in the sward and whether or not there is clover present.

The correct amount of time must be left between spraying the field and the first grazing – it is essential to consult the product label for the correct amount of time as each product will vary.

First-grazing

The timing of the first grazing will have an impact on the grass production capability of the new reseed.

Early grazing – at the right stage – will allow light to penetrate the root of the sward, encourage tillering and to allow the sward to ‘fill out’.

Teagasc recommends grazing the sward when it can withstand the “pull test”. This is when the plant doesn’t pull out of the ground.

It also recommends grazing it at a cover of between 700kg DM/ha and 1,000kg DM/ha.

Subsequent grazings should occur frequently and when the sward is at a cover between 1,000kg DM/ha and 1,400kg DM/ha.

Additionally, the sward should be grazed in dry conditions and harvesting for silage in the first year should be avoided.

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