Successful pasture establishment is a key factor in ensuring high levels of production and persistence in improved pastures. Pastures are often sown as a mixture of species. Seeds are small, sensitive to the conditions and slow to establish.
To provide the greatest chance for successful pasture establishment, follow these eight critical steps:
- Select the paddock and improved pasture mix, assess the condition of current pasture and soil, and start to plan.
- Implement weed and pest control in the year(s) preceding sowing.
- Manage the paddock in the lead up to sowing through pre-sowing cultivation or grazing.
- Ensure effective weed and pest control at sowing. This is the most important factor for success.
- Sow into adequate soil moisture for quick germination and survival of the sown pasture.
- Ensure accurate seed placement.
- Monitor weeds and pests regularly after sowing.
- Manage initial and subsequent grazing to avoid overgrazing during critical pasture growth periods.
Critical factors when establishing improved pastures include:
They play an important role in determining whether a pasture becomes successfully established and influences the type of pasture that will best suit the production environment.