Evaluate Pasture

Discussion in 'Grassland Management' started by aidank, Feb 6, 2019.

  1. aidank

    aidank Well-Known Member

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    Is it possible to evaluate grassland to see is the grass old and poor and the field needs to be ploughed and reseeded, using a method rather than "I think it should produce more for the fertilizer I spread on it"

    Say a field that hasn't been reseeded in 100years, how to evaluate does it need to be reseeded or is all ticking along nicely.

    Lets assume that there are no wet patches due to broken drains, lime is adequate and that the recommended fertilizer type is spread for the last 15years, and it has been maintained via Teagasc soil analysis.

    There is plenty pasture not performing due to lack of lime and maybe a different fertilizer, however more doesn't perform due to old grass
     
  2. Blackwater boy

    Blackwater boy Moderator

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    Grass measurement is the only way to gauge growth. You can test grazed grass DMD also in certain labs.
     
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  3. diesel power

    diesel power Well-Known Member

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    Generally a walk around a given field during the growing season and looking at things like the way stock are grazing it (skutchy grass and other less palatable ones will always be last to be grazed) and if their grazing it uniformly by choice and not hunger. Even the colour of the grass will tell you a lot. A nice vigorous healthy grass will have a good green colour to it whereas a poor pasture will be paler and will have other undesirable grasses/weeds in it. If it's been 100 years since it was last reseeded then it's safe to say a reseed would be money well spent. The response from a new pasture to fertilizer is unbelievable compared to a spun out old one.
     
  4. aidank

    aidank Well-Known Member

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    I have one field which is average dry, (its not the field I would be worrying about come silage time if weather was a high risk item), however to get a fair at best crop of silage from it on a single cut system *5-10th of June is the usual date_ it requires 20 percent more fert than its counterparts.

    It usually gets 2.5bags per acre 30th March and another 1-1.5 bags 1st May. There isn't much soil in that field however, 6" maybe and muddy underneath, no need for drains however.

    however I should add it doesn't get any further fertilizer, other than slurry until the following year

    The grass always looks nice and green is all I can say, hence me wondering is there a test other than human evaluation.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2019
  5. nashmach

    nashmach Moderator

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    Forget about reseeding for now. Get a soil sample done and lime (most important but often forgotten) and fertilize according to the results.

    No point in reseeding until you have the basics right, you will be back in the same position again in a few years.
     
  6. aidank

    aidank Well-Known Member

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    have been doing that for the last 10years at least
     
  7. diesel power

    diesel power Well-Known Member

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    I'd say from reading your post and the fert you apply that your land might a bit short of nutrients. It's probably pasture sward your putting on is it?. If so there isn't enough P and K in it for silage. Do you happen to know the indexes for it?.
     
  8. Seedsower

    Seedsower Well-Known Member

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    Pull some grass up and see if there are red tinged roots.if not it's not ryegrass
    .almost guaranteed a good result from reseeding old pasture though if you spread no fertiliser all summer it's only benefit will be in spring
     
  9. AYF

    AYF Well-Known Member

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    If there's little soil depth then how about over seeding or a full direct drilling?

    Would save you ploughing up poor soil and ploughing down all the nutrients you've put on top?
     

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