Sowing strategies for slow-establishing pasture species on a North Otago dairy farm
Slow-establishing, high quality, pasture species are frequently added to standard ryegrass–white clover seed mixtures in an effort to improve pasture nutritive value. However, intense competition during establishment can suppress these species. Four alternative sowing strategies (Treatment 1: temporal separation of species (clovers sown in November 1998 before ryegrass direct-drilled at 10 kg/ha in March 1999); Treatment 2: substitution of ryegrass with slower-establishing timothy; Treatments 3 and 4: physical separation (alternate drill rows) of slower-establishing species from lower than average ryegrass seeding rates (3.5 kg/ ha or 8 kg/ha)) were used on a commercial North Otago dairy farm. Total dry matter (DM) production after 16 months was greater from pastures initially sown with ryegrass (19.1 t DM/ ha) (Treatments 3 and 4) than when ryegrass sowing was delayed or substituted with timothy (15.2 t DM/ha) (Treatments 1 and 2). The percentage of red plus white clover was similar in all pastures at 16 months of age and averaged 54%, compared with less than 1% for caucasian clover. Timothy sown without ryegrass contributed 42% of production (Treatment 2), compared with 7% when sown with ryegrass (Treatments 3 and 4). Ryegrass composition was similar (43%) regardless of sowing rate (Treatments 3 and 4) and sowing date (Treatment 1). This on-farm study demonstrated successful establishment of red and white clover in all four treatments but timothy and caucasian clover were suppressed by the inclusion of low rates of ryegrass.... [Show full abstract]
Keywordscompetition; botanical composition; dry matter production; Lolium perenne; Phleum pratense; seeding rates; Trifolium ambiguum; T. pratense; T. repens; sowing
TypeConference Contribution - Published (Conference Paper)
Copyright © The Authors and New Zealand Grassland Association.