We know this season has been particularly tough on grass and the grazing and forage resources are severely strained, but there are a few actions to make the best of your fields.
Don’t overgraze fields, leave a good residual to aid regrowth. Overgrazing puts the plant under extra stress and can induce tiller death which will limit the plants ability to regrow efficiently subsequently affecting yield and persistency. Identify a poor field and use this as a sacrificial field for feeding out on, with a plan to reseed this in the autumn.
Don’t apply fertiliser straight away when it rains. Grass won’t be able to use nitrogen straight away as its roots energy reserves are severely depleted. It will take around 21 days for the plant to recover, push up some leaves and rebuild its root reserves before the leaves are removed by a grazing animal.
It will rain!!
The good news is that some areas have seen rain, not in sufficient volumes, but there is more forecast, including in some of the hardest hit areas. The autumn sowing period will be extended, hopefully well into October with soil temperatures currently in the mid 20’s!! The wetter conditions and warm ground should give strong growth to buffer forage stocks.
Soils will stay warm well into the autumn and particularly heavy soils have the ability to retain heat longer. So with the rain, grass crops will germinate and emerge fairly quickly (within 7-10 days) this means that fields needing to be reseeded with perennial mixtures will still have a window. Later sown perennial ryegrass mixtures are ideal, contact the Carrs Billington forage line on 08000 234416 for specialist grassland advice on your reseeding options this autumn.