With grass reseeding costing anywhere between £370-£500/ha, it is important that preparatory steps are taken now in order to reap the benefit of the investment this spring.
Alex Law, grassland and forage crop product manager at Carr’s Billington, says the key is in prioritising which leys to reseed, and in what order.
"This comes down to the results of a soil sampling report and having a clear understanding of how a new ley will be beneficial," he said.
"A soil sample report will determine the suitability of the area you want to reseed.
For optimal growing conditions you ideally want a soil pH between 6-6.5, and phosphorus and potassium levels at an index of two, to ensure nutrients are readily available for root growth
"Although grass will germinate if soil conditions aren’t favourable, you should aim to focus on areas that have shown the most conducive results.
"This will ensure you have the best chance of growing healthy, highly productive swards and will help to reduce extra establishment costs."
He also noted that areas with less favourable soil conditions can be repaired and reseeded at a later date.
Establish your goal for grass growth
Law added that reseeding should be modelled to individual farm requirements including the selection of grass varieties.
"Only a proportion of farm may need to be reseeded to reach a particular productivity target, whether it be for grazing livestock or silage.
"As a general guideline, it’s advised a minimum of 10% is reseeded per year to sustain grass quality.
"However, this percentage will depend on many factors such as topography and your farm system."
He noted that considering other factors such as height above sea level, average rainfall and how long you want a field to be in grass for will also have an impact on how reseeding should be approached, and which grass varieties would be most appropriate.
“A successful reseed will pay back faster, so it is very much worth putting initial preparation time into getting the grass growth results you are aiming for," he concluded.