17 April 1997

Right choice at reseeding

GREATER attention must be paid to variety selection when reseeding pastures, with the difference in dry matter yields between varieties worth up to £40/ha (£16/acre) in spring growth.

Thats the figure used by David Hides, head of breeding at the Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research Institute, Aberystwyth, to state the importance of choosing the right grass variety.

Refering to research data using NIAB recommended list grasses, Mr Hides said the difference between best and worst performing varieties can account for 0.4t/ha (0.16t/acre) difference in spring dry matter yield. Costed at 10.3p/kg DM, that is worth £40.70/ha (£16.48/acre).

In a two-year trial using six commercial farms, improved digestibility between the best and worst varieties accounted for an extra 6% milk from forage.

For cows giving 3000 litres from forage, the extra yield is worth £78 a cow a year at a milk price of 20ppl, he said.

David Hides… pay greater attention to grass variety selection.