Ensuring the best grassland re-seeding

Rapid and effective destruction of worn out, weedy swards is one of the most important keys to success in grassland improvement through re-seeding, stresses weed control specialist, Barrie Hunt of Monsanto.

“We know re-seeding can boost annual pasture dry matter production by 60% or more,” he explained. “But much of this gain in output, not to mention forage quality, will be lost where less productive grasses like Yorkshire Fog, rough stalked meadow grass and creeping bent as well as docks, thistles and other problem weeds survive the process.

“Unless these are reliably eliminated they will seriously undermine the establishment and value of new swards. They will also provide a green bridge for pests and diseases that are especially damaging to new seeds.  As a result, re-seeding can be little more than a costly waste of time, effort and money.

“With today’s intense pressure on grazing livestock margins, it’s equally important that re-seeding takes pastures out of production for the least possible time,” he continued. “Securing an extra grazing or silage cut from swards being renewed can make all the difference in many cases.”

For the most reliable destruction, Barrie Hunt recommends spraying-off swards with glyphosate at the most vulnerable time for perennial grasses and broad-leaved weeds – between June and September, once stem extension is complete.

He strongly advises using the most modern 360 g/l formulation, Roundup Biactive GL proven to be more reliable in controlling problem grass and broadleaved weeds under challenging summer conditions than a range of other glyphosates.

Not only this but– backed by extensive research showing no effect on forage quality, harm to livestock or residues in meat or milk – the formulation is fully approved for spraying ahead of silage-making or grazing.

“You can silage or graze five days after spraying with Roundup Biactive GL then cultivate and drill your new seeds the next day, knowing that even the toughest weeds have taken-up enough glyphosate to kill them,” Barrie Hunt pointed out. “This cuts a good three weeks or more from the traditional approach of waiting for sufficient re-growth after utilisation to spray-off the old sward then a further 5-7 days before cultivation and sowing.

“So you can take a second silage cut or extra grazing off your old sward right up to the end of July and still re-seed at the early autumn timing that gives the best perennial weed control, rather than having to shut your ground-up for re-seeding from early June.

Roundup Biactive GL has the further advantage of being rainfast in just one hour on annual grasses and couch, and four hours on perennial weeds and old swards. It doesn’t need adjuvants with even the hardest water; has valuable in-built drift risk reduction properties; and carries a completely ‘clean’ hazard-free label for product use, handling, transport and storage.

For the maximum flexibility, it is also approved for a broad range of other mixed farm uses, including pre-harvest application for cereals, and pulses; stubble treatment; cover and fodder crop destruction; clearing vegetation from ditches, ponds and river banks and general weed control around buildings, yards, tracks and fence-lines.