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Autumn Reseeding For Productivity

 Reseeding for sucess

Reseeding for Better Net Profitability


Renewing pastures regularly is important to maximise productivity and maintain feed quality.

Well managed grass is the cheapest feed for ruminants.  An old ley with a high percentage of weed grasses will be significantly less productive in terms of dry matter yield, have lower D-values and will be less palatable to livestock and less responsive to fertiliser. 


So regular investment in reseeding grassland should provide significant returns in the amount of grass produced on farm and potentially increased farm net profit through higher yields, improved feed quality, higher dry matter intakes, improved protein content, reduced bought-in feed, greater stock densities and better response to fertiliser.  These benefits all add up to make successful pasture renewal one of the most cost-effective investments livestock farmers can undertake. When costed with all the elements of a reseed carried out to best practice standard at around £200 per acre, this will be far less than the value of the benefits in the first year, with yields in the first year having the potential to be 25% more than the same ley after five years in average conditions. Typically, poor fields will only yield an average of 8t DM/ha at 10.6ME, compared with 14t DM/ha at 12 ME from a well fertilised field in good condition. The benefits seen from a new ley in the first year, should continue for the duration of the ley but without the costs to set against them. In the case of a medium-term ley, under the right management, the value should continue for four to six years.


The benefits from reseeding are significant,  so our advice is always go the extra mile with seed bed preparation, soil nutrient supply, seed mixture selection and drilling – it will pay dividends. Reseeding in the autumn provides added benefits of minimal impact on yield loss and gives the seedbed time to settle over the winter, allowing good structure to form. 

When reseeding, it’s important to choose the latest varieties from the official Recommended Grass & Clover Lists (RGCL), to get the agronomic and genetic benefits they offer over older varieties. Modern varieties developed over the past 20 years have increased yields by 1-2% per year, so if a field hasn’t been reseeded for 10 years, the yield disadvantage could be between 10-20%. However, it is equally important to select a mixture that suits the system, is well balance and does the job it’s designed to do, with yield, digestibility, seasonal production spread, heading dates and persistency being all important in that selection process.

Mole Valley Farmers Premier Leys contain only top performing varieties from the Recommended Grass and Clover list. Our mixtures are designed for cutting, cutting and grazing and grazing only. However, we can also make bespoke mixes for individual requirements.

To order your grass seed or to request a copy of the 2018 Premier Leys Grass Seed Catalogue, please call your local farm sales office or the Seed Line on 01769 576232 #MVFHotTopics

Source Details

 James Henderson Arable Trader

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