Its time to start planning your autumn reseeds and new data from DLF’s on-farm grass trials shows why this important job should not be left to the last minute.
Many farmers prefer to reseed in the autumn months of August and September as both grass demand and workload on farm eases. However, farmers should not leave this important job until too late in the autumn as this can increase the risk of poor establishment and even failure of reseeds in some cases.
New data from on-farm trials carried out by DLF and their Grass Partners shows how later autumn reseeding can have a knock-on effect on sward and animal performance the following spring.
As part of the trial 4 new reseeds were sown across counties Kerry, Meath, Offaly and Waterford. The reseeds in counties Kerry and Meath were carried out on the 11th and 31st of August, respectively, while seed was drilled on September 14th and 18th in Offaly and Waterford.
The graph below shows the total yield of grass grown on each farm during the first two rotations the following spring.
Although there was only two weeks between the August and September sowing dates, there was a significant yield penalty (+1t DM/ha) in spring following the September sowings. This extra ton of grass is not insignificant as it comes at a time when grass demand and grass quality are high. Teagasc estimates this ton to be worth in the region of €250/ha.
Weather and ground conditions can deteriorate rapidly from September and having your seed sown in August gives a better chance of successful germination. More importantly it allows time to carry out the jobs critical to strong establishment like applying post-emergence herbicide and that crucial first grazing to thicken up the sward.
If you are planning to reseed this autumn then don’t delay – you could save yourself a ton of money next spring!
Make sure to check out DLF’s range of grazing and silage mixtures that include some of the top-rated grass varieties on the Teagasc PPI like Nashota, Bowie, Xenon and Anurad.