After several dry years, some farmers’ paddocks across southern Victoria have become saturated to a point that it has led to severe pasture damage and recovery will depend on a number of factors when planning what strategies you may wish to take.
Notman Pasture Seeds owner Peter Notman has provided some tips for re-sowing pugged pasture crops.
Pugged pasture re-sowing options
Spring re-sowing can be successful when action is taken quickly.
We have observed a large amount of successful spring sowing during our 30 years in the field when there is good planning, timing, seed soil contact and fertility.
The spring pasture re-sowing window is short, so as soon as soils are dry enough to get machinery the re-sowing should be implemented as fast as practical.
All spring-sown pasture or crop should be fertilised with a complete NPKS fertiliser to enhance germination and early growth.
The options farmers have at their disposal include:
This option is generally only available during a small window of time and on flatter land when soil conditions are dried sufficiently to get machinery on.
Re-sowing for silage bulk
If wishing to boost spring silage and hay, an option is using a power harrow to level and topping pasture up with SuperSilage blends16 or Bullet annual ryegrass for increasing yield.
Complete grass renovation for severe damage
For September permanent grasses, such as Vatbuster perennial ryegrass blend (30 kg/ha) or short-term silage blends (40 kg/ha+) can be re-sown successfully.
Levelling in preparation for autumn
If areas are too large to renovate to grass this spring, these areas could be identified for spring forage crop or alternatively be levelled in preparation for autumn renovation.
Re-sowing to crop
Forage crops in order of planting timing include chicory, plantain, all forage brassicas, millet and rape, fodder beet, maize, millets, Betta Graze sorghum and SSS Sudan sorghum.
Finally, you would expect not to plant any more than 10 to 15 per cent of your farm into summer crops as it can become difficult to feed large amounts of summer crops to cows.
The only exception we would consider is chicory as this can be a grazing crop for an 18-month period.