Maintaining ley performance

By reducing the reliance on purchased feed, dairy units utilising higher volumes of good-quality grass and producing more milk from forage will be more profitable. So now is the time to assess the condition of grass leys and identify any that need a boost via reseeding or overseeding.

Knowledge
Dairy
Forage

Ideally, 20% of grass leys should be reseeded each year. The quality of grass leys gradually declines, with a five-year-old ley only providing around 50% of the quality and yield that it delivered during its early life.

When assessing which fields to overseed or reseed, consider each ley’s overall productivity, the grass species grown, the number and size of bare patches, and the volume of weed grasses. Weed grasses have low nutritional value, fail to utilise fertiliser efficiently, and reduce overall ley performance.

When selecting grass seed, ensure it contains recommended and listed varieties that have performed well on other dairy units with similar soil type and geographical location to your own. Recommended lists help guide seed selection based on predicted yield, quality, field type and feed performance.

Selecting the right mix to meet a unit’s forage requirements is crucial, whether it’s for cutting, grazing or both. Regular soil analysis to review pH and nutrient status is also important. Any deficiencies should be rectified to ensure optimal grass-ley performance.

Grass Sprinter 21 days post drilling

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