Sowing Preparation

Successful pasture establishment starts with planning. A rushed decision can result in late-sowing, weed invasion, low feed production in the first winter and spring, and with poor persistence. Use the following simple checklist to help ensure that your pasture renewal programme is successful.

Paddock Selection

  1. Begin with the paddock with the greatest difference between current and potential performance, as the return on investment will be higher.
  2. Select paddocks early, six months is required to properly prepare for new pastures.

Paddock Preparation

  1. Control weeds and weed-seed production in the spring and summer prior to sowing a new pasture. Techniques available include grazing, mowing, silage and fodder crops.

Sowing

  1. Assess what insects are present, or likely to be, and decide on the best seed treatment or spraying options. Common problem insects are black beetle and slugs (direct-drilling).
  2. Order seed several weeks before planting from your retailer, with instructions on the seed treatment you require so it will be available when you are ready to sow.
  3. Wait until pastures are actively growing in early-autumn and then use a knockdown spray in order to control germinating weeds. Sowing can commence 3-5 days later.

Seed Treatment

Seed treatment is recommended to protect seedlings during establishment from pasture pests and diseases. SowEasy KickStart contains Gauco® which has been proven to enable:

  1. Quicker plant development of clover, Lucerne and herbs
  2. Faster plant growth to first grazing for ryegrass and greater root development
  3. Faster plant growth to first grazing for ryegrass and greater root development
  4. Ensure that cultivated paddocks are even, and have a fine, firm and moist seed bed.
  5. Sowing depth is the most common cause of poor clover establishment. Sow seed at 10 mm deep.
  6. Press-wheels or a roller are often needed for seed to soil contact and to get the pasture up quickly and evenly.
  7. Paddocks that are being direct-drilled should also be level and clear of excessive trash.
  8. Use fertiliser at sowing. Ready access to nitrogen (N) and phosphorous (P) will ensure rapid and vigorous early growth.

Monitoring the Paddock After Sowing

Frequently monitor newly sown pastures for weed and insect pests. Controlling weeds early requires less chemical, is more effective and often has less impact on the sown pasture. Insect pests can decimate an emerging pasture; prompt action prevents significant plant losses and loss of production.

First Grazing

  1. First grazing should only occur once the plant has begun to tiller out and is at least 10 cm high. Ensure plants are firmly anchored in the ground before grazing and avoid over-grazing or pugging damage.
  2. Lighter framed animals are best, and avoid grazing when the soil is wet.
  3. Consider an application of N-based fertiliser after the first grazing to promote quick recovery and to encourage further tillering of the plants.