Reseeding an existing ley can lead to a significant return on investment. Within several years ‘weed grasses’ will ingress into a sward – particularly if the field has experienced poaching or after a hard winter. These ‘weed grasses’ have poor quality characteristics compared to ryegrass varieties from the Recommended List. These include poor digestibility and a poorer response to fertiliser, as well as not converting to meat and milk as efficiently as ryegrass.
Benefits of Reseeding
- Improved yields
- Higher DM intakes
- Enhanced disease resistance
- Earlier turnout of stock
- Increased stocking rate
- Increased palatability and digestibility
- Improved grazing and silage quality
- Higher response to nitrogen (N) fertiliser
With the increase in volatility of fertiliser prices, it is important that a grassland nutrient programme is cost-effective. It is essential that the sward comprises of grass species which respond to fertiliser to maximise on-farm profitability.
The graph below clearly shows the variance between perennials’ efficiency and the efficiency of common weed grasses when nitrogen fertiliser is applied.