Reseeding will increase animal performance and profitability – Here’s how

Reseeding has the potential to increase grass growth by 25%, but this is not the sole benefit Teagasc’s dairy advisor James Moyles told the Germinal reseeding demonstration in Offaly recently.

He said that reseeding allows farmers to increase the proportion of perennial ryegrass (PRG) in their swards which has multiple perks.

“Research work from Teagasc shows that old permanent pasture will only produce 75% of the grass yield of a reseed in terms of annual dry matter (DM) tonnage,” he said.

The Teagasc advisor also discussed how the additional yield generated from reseeding will make farms more profitable.

Moyles added that another big advantage of reseeding is the extra grass that is grown in the shoulders of the year.

“Dry matter production will increase in both the spring and autumn periods, these are the most expensive times on many beef and dairy farms due to supplementary feeding.

“If farmers could replace some of the meal and silage used during these periods with grazed grass they would really be onto a winner in terms of reducing costs and increasing profitability.”

Reseeds also have an increased response to nitrogen, he said, and can utilise 25% more nitrogen than old pasture.

“This is extremely important because on most farms nitrogen is the second or third highest cost, so farmers need to be getting a return on their investment when spreading.”

New reseeds have also higher utilisation rates due to increased palatability of PRG. Animal performance will also increase as a result of higher sugar and DMD levels

“Research work has shown that every single unit increase in DMD will result in a corresponding increase in animal performance of 5%.”

Grazing the reseed

Grazing management is probably one of the most important factors for the success of the reseed, he added.

“Many people think they have the work done once they have the grass seed in, but the work is only starting.”

It is essential to manage the new reseed correctly with the aim to encourage new grass tillers. The Teagasc advisor added that reseeds should be grazed at low covers to promote tiller formation.

“Farmers should graze reseeds once it passes the pull test, if the grass seedling comes up fully in your hand then it is to early graze, if it tears away from the root then it is sufficient to graze.”