Virtual Farm Walk: Improving pasture quality through reseeding

Research has shown that the most profitable beef production systems make maximum use of grazed grass in the diet of cattle.

As part of Martin Connolly’s farm plan, an element of reseeding was included to not only improve the quantity of grass grown on the farm, but to also maximise the quantity grown each year.

Over recent weeks, Martin has reseeded 8ac on his farm with a dual-purpose grazing and silage mix.

In the below video, he details the steps he’s undertaken.

Martin discussed the steps he completed to ensure that his autumn reseeding programme was a success – both in terms of germination and for the longevity of the sward.

After desiccating the existing sward in early August, the Roscommon-based farmer applied lime at a rate of 2t/ac in order to bring soil pH to the optimum level of 6.3 for perennial grass seed varieties.

The soil cultivation process involved two runs of a disc harrow and two runs of a power harrow before the seed was set.

Once sowing was completed, the field was rolled to limit the impact of a leather jacket attack and to ensure a good soil-to-seed contact was achieved.

In terms of the seed mixture used, ‘Greenacres Goldbite’ – a mix from Drummonds – was selected; it contained varieties rated highly on the Pasture Profit Index (PPI) and it was suited for an early graze in the spring, one-cut silage in mid-May and grazing for the remainder of the year.

‘Greenacres Goldbite’ seed mixture:
  • Abergain 2kg (tetraploid);
  • Meiduno 2.5kg (tetraploid);
  • Oakpark 3.5kg (diploid);
  • Aberchoice 3kg (diploid);
  • Chieftain white clover 0.36kg;
  • Coolfin white clover 0.24kg.

After the sward has established, Martin plans to re-enter the field with a post-emergence spray to tackle any seedling grassland weeds before they become too established.

However, this step will depend on the weather conditions that occur towards the latter half of the month.

Martin is available to answer any questions you may have on his system throughout the day on the Teagasc Beef social media platforms – Facebook and Twitter.

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