Wed, 29 Jan 2014
NEW ZEALAND – The secrets to a good sown pasture are good grazing management, careful preparation pre-sowing and the right endophyte.
This is according to Tom Fraser, a senior scientist at AgResearch and Te Awamatu dairyman Geoffrey Peake who say winning pastures in this year’s Waikato and Bay of Plenty Pasture Renewal Persistence Competition benefited from these factors.
Competition judge Mr Fraser was impressed by good clover coverage and low weeds, despite the 2013 drought.
"Both farmers took care to avoid overgrazing when pastures came under stress and paid attention to weed control in both the pre and post sowing period,” said Mr Fraser. “This ensured a high survival of sown species.”
Competition winners are John Assen of Taupiri and Gareth Beynon from Edgcumbe. Mr Assen won best first year pasture and Mr Beynon won best pre-2010 renewed pasture.
The Beynon's chose Bealey NEA2, a tetraploid perennial ryegrass, sown with Weka and Kotare white clover and Choice chicory. The paddock is irrigated which provided some advantages during the 2013 drought.
John Assen re-grassed with One50 AR37, a diploid perennial ryegrass with a high ranking on the Forage Value Index for the northern North Island. The paddock was power harrowed after a chicory crop, seed broadcast with a motorbike spreader and rolled.
"John keeps high quality records relating to paddock history and grazing management which has helped him fine-tune his winning system," said Mr Fraser.
Each winner receives $1000 of pasture renewal products, including seed from Agriseeds and Agricom.