Less than 2% of our national grassland area is reseeded annually
Reseeded swards have the potential to produce more grass and use fertiliser more efficiently. Rejuvenating swards can be one of the most cost effective investments on-farm, but it’s being neglected by many Irish farmers.
Annually, Teagasc says, less than 2% of our annual grassland area is reseeded. As grass is the dominant feed during the main grazing season – leaving the summer of 2018 aside – and the primary source of winter forage in the form of grass silage, low levels of reseeding need to be addressed.
Teagasc researchers stress the importance of perennial ryegrass as a high-quality feed and as an effective user of applied nutrients. It is recommended that pastures with less that 50% perennial ryegrass should be reseeded.
Economically, pastures with a low proportion of perennial ryegrass are €300/ha less productive due to reduced dry matter (DM) production and nitrogen fertiliser use efficiency during the growing season.
Teagasc says that if the cost of reseeding is estimated at approximately €700/ha, the increased profitability of the reseeded pasture would potentially cover the initial reseeding cost in just over two years.
However, soil fertility needs to be kept to the forefront of any reseeding plans, as it’s critical when attempting to establish strong swards.