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Questions and Answers on Reseeding

10 July 2017
Type Media Article

By Anthony O' Connor, Teagasc Adviser, Galway/Clare Regional Unit

Reseeding grassland will put money in your pocket, no matter what livestock system you are involved in. In this article, questions on Reseeding are answered. 

Q. What fields do I choose for Reseeding?

A. Prioritise poorly performing fields with less than 40% Perennial Ryegrass content for best return.

Q. What is the objective of the Reseeding?

A. More grazing, spring grass, improve quality, improve livestock performance, introduce clover, grow 15t/ha of grass, improved uptake and utilisation of Nitrogen.

Q. When is the best time to Reseed?

A. For autumn reseeding, the earlier in the season reseeding is done the better. The reason for this is post seeding management, grazing off the sward and post spraying can be difficult once we get into late September. Aim to have reseeding completed by mid-August. 

Q. What is the approximate cost of Reseeding?

A. Reseeding costs €300/acre, this includes spraying off, fertiliser and lime, contractors charges, cost of seed etc. It is expensive. Plan it carefully and pay attention to small details.

Q. What is the best cultivation method for Reseeding?

A. Choose a reseeding cultivation method appropriate to the farm that produces a fine, firm seedbed with good seed to soil contact and is free of stones and trash (grass scraws, briars, decaying weeds etc).

Q. How do I go about preparing the field for Reseeding?

A. Closely graze down field/paddock completely. Spray off sward 7-10 days prior to final mowing/grazing. Ideally, have a Soil Sample for P, K and Lime requirements taken prior to this (early in the spring).

Q. When is best time to apply the Lime, P and K required?

A. The lime and fertiliser should be applied and tilled into the seedbed before grass seed is sown.  

Q. Generally, is there much fertiliser required at Reseeding?

A. As a general rule of thumb 2-3 bags of 10:10:20 per acre are required for reseeding but this will depend on the soil test results and if a farm is allowed to buy in P's. 2,000 - 3,000 gallons/acre of undiluted slurry has been used successfully to substitute for bag fertiliser.

Q. Where do I purchase suitable seed for the job?

A. From your local Co-op store or Agri-merchant, choose varieties that suit your needs from the list of 2017 Department of Agriculture Recommended List of Grass Seed Varieties and clover. If using clover if using (medium leaf for cattle and small leaf for sheep). In dry conditions, sow 14kge/acre of seed mixture. This seeding rate may need to be increased as time progresses.

Q. What are the recommendations for a grass seed mixture for a beef farm?

A. For beef farms, the recommendation is that there should be two varieties of late heading perennial ryegrass seed and two varieties of medium size leaved white clover in the seed mixture.

Q. Do I need to do anything once seed is sown?

A. Ensure the seedbed is rolled; use a ring roller if possible.  

Q. After grass seedlings emerge, what about grassland management after seedling emergence? 

A. Use post-emergence spray to control seedling Docks, Redshank, Fat Hen etc at the 4 leaf stage in weed seedlings, such as Legumex DB. Graze at a low cover with weanlings or sheep, this will encourage the grass seedlings to tiller out and new sward to thicken up. A bag of CAN/acre can be applied before the 15th September or in the spring after the 15th January. Delay any silage cutting in the reseeded ground for 12 months.