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Pasture establishment

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:

  1. Select the paddock and improved pasture mix, assess the condition of current pasture and soil, and start to plan.
  2. Implement weed and pest control in the year(s) preceding sowing.
  3. Manage the paddock in the lead up to sowing through pre-sowing cultivation or grazing.
  4. Ensure effective weed and pest control at sowing. This is the most important factor for success.
  5. Sow into adequate soil moisture for quick germination and survival of the sown pasture.
  6. Ensure accurate seed placement.
  7. Monitor weeds and pests regularly after sowing.
  8. 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.

Pasture selection

There are many possible pasture species and combinations of species available to producers. Head to the pasture selection page for ways production system, environment and economics need to be considered in order to maximise the potential of the pasture improvement.