'Aim for 10pc reseeding per annum'
Published 30/03/2016 | 02:30
Farmers should be trying to aim to reseed 10pc of the farm each year, says a Teagasc dairy advisor.
Kilkenny-based Pat Moylan, who is also the advisor on PJ O'Keeffe's farm, explains the major benefit of reseeding is delivering more grass in the early spring and late autumn.
"We'd expect 1.5 to 2/t DM ha more grass growth from the reseeded pastures but the other big benefit of reseeding is you generally get better growth in the shoulder parts of the year which is when farms like this with a high six week calving rate need to have the growth rate," he says.
"It will reduce the need for supplementation."
In a farm that is heavily stocked like PJ's with 2.5LU/ha overall, Mr Moylan explained they are looking for late heading perennial ryegrass varieties, with good density that will endure under the grazing conditions experienced this spring.
He advises farmers to examine the Pasture Profit Index - likened to an EBI for grass varieties - to help choose the best performing grass for their enterprise.
"You might only reseed this field once in the next 10 to 15 years so you want to pick the best varieties," he says, urging farmers to examine persistency, autumn-spring growth, yield and consistency.
Soil sampling is important with only 10pc of samples at index 3 for P (phosphorus) and K (potassium) as good fertility is vital to deliver the strong grass growth, he says.