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Do your leys need reseeding?

Advice from our specialist Advice from our specialist3-7-2020

As grass varieties constantly improve, did you know that by using new varieties could give you 33% more yield than a typical five year ley. The DM yield of the ley will also be much higher.

By selecting varieties from the recommended list you will benefit from scientifically proven yield benefits and allow you to capitalise on the strengths of different species.

The benefits of reseeding

The benefits of reseeding

The benefits of reseeding have a number of factors as well as improving yield and quality of the ley.

  • New improved varieties
  • Increased palatability
  • Increased protein
  • Improved nitrogen efficiency
  • Reduced nitrogen requirement
  • Review soil compaction and any weed issues
  • Less disease – cycles are broken


The productivity of a grass ley decreases over time and as the below table shows the yield of a 1 year ley can be as much as an additional 3.5t DM/ha compared to a five year ley.

Age of ley Yield (t DM/ha) ME/kg DM Lost MJ/ha Lost revenue £/ha
1 13 12.0    
2 12.5 11.8 8500 £401
3 11.5 11.6 22600 £1,066
4 10.5 11.4 36300 £1,712
5 9.5 11.2 49600 £2,340
6 8.5 11.0 62500 £2,948
7 7 10.8 80400 £3,792


Weed grasses

The main reason for a reduction in productivity of a sward will largely be down to weed grass ingress. This can be as much as 50% after 5 years.

Weed grasses in the sward

Factors to consider

The benefits of a new ley will last many years over an existing one. However, these benefits will decline and will depend on the following factors:

  • Nutrition - maintaining the swards nitrogen, phosphate, potash and sulphur requirements
  • Soil health - maintaing the correct soil pH and avoiding compaction
  • Weed contol - maintaining an appropriate weed control programme
  • Grassland management - reducing ingress of native species (weed grasses) which are of lower production and nutritional quality.


For more information

For more details on TOPGRASS or maximising your forage output please contact your local Account Manager or contact our Forage Team here.