When to slot in new seed
LOW first-cut silage yields could highlight a poor response to nitrogen in some fields and it may be worth rejuvenating the sward.
GRAS technical adviser Robin Turner claims that one of the best times to slot in new seed is after first-cut silage.
This is when grass growth is slow giving new seedlings a chance to compete, although some moisture will be essential for plants to develop roots in preparation for drier summer conditions. When possible, cut the grass low to give the new seedlings a better chance.
"Slot seeding tends to be hit and miss, but when there is little build-up of thick matter it can be successful,. This can extend the life of a ley by one or two years before a full reseed. But it is less suitable for permanent pasture where the roots are too thick to allow seedlings to come through."
He advises using larger-seeded tetraploid ryegrass varieties for slot seeding into leys or Italians and hybrid varieties when seeking an extra one or two years life from an Italian ley.