Livestock 2012: Pasture harrow aids grass recovery

A new grassland tool that cleans the sward for faster fuller recovery in grazed fields is now available.

The Pasture Harrow from OPICO, is a multi-tasking tool that levels out molehills, disperses muck heaps and cow pats, and aerates the sward.

The Pasture Harrow has two rows of spreading plates at the front: the plates in the first row are 95mm wide and drag along the ground – dispersing molehills and knocking off the top crust of cow pats. The second row’s plates are offset: these break up the rest of the cow pat and spread the muck and soil. At the rear, two rows of spring tines further distribute the loosened materials, and also aerate the sward. The Pasture Harrow has a galvanised finish to protect it from the corrosive effects of muck and slurry.

OPICO’s grassland specialist Neil Robinson explains: “By the time cattle have grazed a field down and are moved out, up to 15% of the sward can be covered by cow pats. The grass underneath these can’t grow and, especially in dry weather, these take a long time to break down. So when cattle return to the field, there’s always a percentage of the ground with no grass re-growth but plenty of fertiliser.

“Using the Pasture Harrow, the cow pats are dispersed allowing the grass underneath to grow and the nutrients from the manure to be used more efficiently. The harrowing tines remove the immediate trash at the bottom of the sward and aerate it, thus encouraging better root growth and faster plant recovery.”

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