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Nutri-Active Assessments of Soil and Sward.



 

Forage Services

 

 

The Nutri Active action plan


Reviewing the cost of inputs when output prices are low is a natural reaction, something we hear all the time and is logical. However, what is less logical is jeopardising the future production of the single most important crop on a livestock farm, and is also the most cost effective feed to the animals, i.e. grass.


Putting aside the understandable cases for prolonging some grass leys when times are challenging, it is only right for farmers to plan ahead and introduce new, more productive grass leys in the same way that new livestock genetics or modern machinery is regularly introduced to a farm businesses.     


Although sometimes perceived as a costly operation, a well planned grass re-seeding of less productive and poorer quality grass sward is essential for maintaining future profit from forage production.  The benefits are straight forward, the choice of grass seed relates to use and the reseeding method depends on the objectives.


Benefits


There are four primary advantages for grass re-seeding:

 

  1. Improve the quality of grass swards to increase feed value
  2. Increase cutting yields and grazing periods for production
  3. Improve Nutrient Use Efficiency to reduce losses
  4. Relieve soil problems and improve soil conditioning    Grass Seed


The choice of grass seed mix depends on:

  1. Cutting or grazing requirement
  2. Length of ley planned
  3. Clover content
  4. Local environment

 

The adage ‘if a job is worth doing, it is worth doing well’ applies to the sowing of all crops, but is especially true for grass which needs to persist several years, maintaining quality for as long as possible.  However, this does not mean throwing everything possible at the reseeding job, but instead paying strong attention to the soil and the rooting of the new grass crop, whilst considering why the reseeding is required and how best to adapt it to a farm’s requirements.


So there are a few decisions possible, but these are relatively straight forward and whichever grass seed mix or establishment method used, the important objective is to being prepared for the future, to ensure the forage production is resilient to what lies ahead.


Further details of grass seed mixes and suitable soil nutrition and conditioners are available from our MVFS Crop Nutritionists.
 

 



Source Details

Hugh Frost



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