A proactive reseeding policy, selecting the right grass seed mixtures and attention to detail during the management process are essential to producing quality home-grown forage.

Ten top tips to increase grassland productivity. 

1) Testing your soil
First and foremost, before drilling a new ley, you need to understand the nutritional picture of the field. It’s also fundamentally important to check that your pH is at the right level.

2) Reseeding

15% of your grassland per year By reseeding 15% of your grassland each year with Wynnstay’s grass seed mixtures, within six years you will have the latest, modern grass varieties available within your sward. This will ensure that you maximise the quantity and quality of your forage. Within five years, weed grasses will have ingressed into the sward which will reduce productivity and quality.

3) Selecting the right grass mixture

There can be considerable differences in the quality of mixture ranges available in the market. This depends heavily on the species used and which varieties are then selected. Choose a mixture that only contains grasses which are on the Grass and Clover Recommended List.

4) Treat your grassland like an arable crop

When creating your nutritional programme, make sure you are investing in the right nutrients to ensure each field produces the highest yields of quality grass. It is also beneficial to monitor these investments along the way.

5) Watch out for sulphur deficiency

We’re seeing more commonly that grass grown for silage is particularly prone to sulphur deficiency. Carry out a grass leaf analysis to monitor your sulphur levels.

6) Early weed control is key

Get weeds under control while they’re just seedlings (4-6 leaves), to give the new ley a clean start and remove weed competition which can result in gappy swards. It’s a waste of resources growing weeds!

7) Order additive early

Using the right silage additive will help maintain silage quality and reduce spoilage losses. Order your additive early to make sure it is on-farm, ready for optimum cutting conditions.

8) Measure, monitor and test

Accurate measurements of grass growth rates and density will help you to make the best decisions when utilising pasture. Additionally, analysing silage will ensure you have all the nutritional information necessary for adding your grass silage to the ration.

9) Follow Volac’s ‘Cut to Clamp’ guidelines

‘Cut to Clamp’ offers top tips for retaining sil

age quality from cutting to feed-out. Read more at: www.cuttoclamp.com.

10) Plan ahead

Over the winter months, make a pre-season plan to make sure your grassland management details are pencilled in.