Where is the money in reseeding?
Grass reseeding is a major investment in the annual calendar for any farm.
How does this balance with reseeding being one of the best-returning investments that a grassland farmer can make? How is it that farms that do more grass reseeding generally have a higher net profit?
Turning grass into gold
The aim of grass reseeding in simple: Target a paddock on the farm that is underperforming, which is dragging down the average performance of the entire farm; then, by reseeding, make it one of the better-performing paddocks on the farm.
Patrick Cashman of Goldcrop commented on this, saying: “A really common scenario on farm is a paddock near the yard that can grow 16t DM plus.
“On the other hand, other paddocks on similar land and fertiliser might only be doing 10 or 11t DM. In periods of forage deficit, these paddocks created a massive cost by not pulling their weight in feeding the farm.”
Growing more feed on the farmer’s own land means less reliance on imported feed or an ability to hold more stock. Both scenarios have the potential to make more money.
After a couple of difficult springs, it’s clear that newly reseeding swards have a serious potential to save money in purchased feed and fodder. Sowing top mixtures like Diamond makes the best from the investment.
We see new varieties like Moira, AstonKing and Meiduno that set a new level in spring growth on the PPI.
“This kind of performance is not available in older swards; those paddocks that are not performing, especially in spring. It really pays a good return to get them pulling their weight,” commented Patrick.
Being more self-sufficient in animal feed at a lower economic and environmental cost even makes a strong improvement in sustainability.
Teagasc estimates that every extra tonne of dry matter utilised is worth €183/t DM to a dairy enterprise and €105 for a dry stock farm.
Very often it is possible to increase the grass harvested off a paddock by 4t DM/year. If this is achieved the cost of reseeding will be payed off in just over one year when it is reseeded.
Better growth at key times, of better-quality grass, drives animal performance at a lower cost and leaves more money behind for the farmer.
Goldcrop is an Irish family-run seed company which takes pride in bringing the best information and varieties to Irish farms.