Overseeding

Every grassland farmer is well aware of the vigour and high level of production that can be achieved from a new reseed and also that inevitably through time, the sown grasses begin to disappear and the sward thins out and production suffers.


The decline of sown species is influenced by many different factors but on average by the time grass reaches 7 or 8 years old, only around 60% of the sown species remain and 40% of the sward is either bare ground or occupied by weed grasses. This deterioration not only affects yield but also has a significant effect on palatability, forage quality, spring growth and the overall response to fertiliser inputs. When these are added together, the effect on both animal performance and the overall financial return is substantial and a sward with 40 – 50% bare ground or weed grass content can mean a loss of up to £300 per acre per year in feed value. Recognising the need to maintain a high proportion of sown species in older grass and that a full reseed is not always practical, HF Seeds has developed the GrassMax system of overseeding which presents a real opportunity to restore production in tired or damaged swards to newly sown levels without the expense or disruption of a full reseed. The GrassMax system of overseeding can also be used to introduce or increase clover levels in existing swards. The key to successful overseeding lies in ensuring that the newly sown plants are capable of competing with the existing grass and that the germinating seedlings have sufficient vigour to establish successfully in what can be a very competitive environment. Increasing the competitiveness of the establishing plants can be achieved in three ways each of which has a cumulative effect in ensuring success.

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