The Germinal reseeding open day in Mountbolus, Tullamore highlighted a range of reseeding methods farmers can avail use on their farms.
The traditional plough, till and sow methods and the newer minimum tillage methods of grass reseeding were on display.
Minimum till options
Minimum tillage operations are becoming increasingly popular as they reduce the closed period and allow stock to graze within a short period of reseeding.
These operations reduce the disturbance to the soil and are less invasive then the traditional plough, till, sow methods.
They are also suitable for stony soils which may not be suitable for ploughing.
The Einbock system
The Einbock system is suitable for pasture rejuvenation and the contractor said that this accounts for 50% of the machines work. The machine has 240 individual thines with a splash plate type seed delivery system.
The thine settings are easily adjusted to allow the sowing of other crops. This adjusts the depth at which the seed is deposited.
The contractor also said that the machine is capable of sowing 8 acres/hour but two runs are necessary to ensure an even distribution of trash.
The contractor also added that swards should be grazed out tight before considering using this system as the machines output is reduced with heavier burnt off covers.
This method of reseeding also produces excellent results when the seed bed has been prepared, said the contractor.
Moore Unidrill system
This system of min-til gives gives the farmer the option to increase the seed and soil contact.
Weights are added to the system to increase the penetration and the machine weighs in at approximately 4.5t.
However, this method is considerably slower then the Einbock system, with an output of 2.5 acre/hour, said the contractor.
The machine is fitted with staggered disks which cuts the ground and allows the grass seed to be deposited at a depth of 1-1.5cm.
The unit is also fitted with a self cleaning packer roller. The contractor said that he often uses this system to rejuvenate existing swards by sowing the grass seed first and then immediately burning off the existing pasture with glyphosate.
Vredo min-till system
This compact machine is suitable for the renewal of existing swards as it allows for a 96% germination rate and can be operated using tractors from 100 horse power and up.
As with the other min-till systems the period of closure following reseeding is also reduced said the operator. Stock can return to grazing within 6-8 weeks of sowing due to minimum soil disturbance.
The disks of the system barely break the ground and travel to a depth of 5-10mm. These disks are spring loaded and the grass seed is deposited between each pair of twin disks.
The system is also fitted with a packer ring roller, seed is distributed using a hydraulic van drive.
Contractor charges are generally around €50/acre for sward renewal.
Plough, till, sow operations were also on display at the Germinal and Teagasc joint open day.
There was a demonstration of both the Amazone AD303 unit and the Kuhn HR 3003 machine.
These machines were operated following the preparation of a fine seed bed, following ploughing and harrowing.