Clonhie Farm, Penpont, Dumfries & Galloway is run by Andrew and Aileen Marchant. It is the second of nine new Monitor Farms being established in Scotland as part of a joint initiative by Quality Meat Scotland and AHDB Cereal & Oilseeds. Clonhie Farm is 300 Ha with 40 Ha of good hill rising to around 800ft and 260 Ha of upland grassland. The stock numbers on Clonhie have increased significantly since the Marchants took over and the farm now has 1000 breeding ewes, 300 ewe lambs and 20 Luing cows with a target to achieve 1200 ewes by 2020.
‘Although it is in the fields early days, the development of the sward looks promising. Throughout next year its performance will be measured using a plate meter. It will be interesting to compare its performance against an earlier complete reseed.’
Andrew Marchant, Clonhie Farm, Penpont, Dumfries & Galloway.
A full re-seed is not always possible due to factors such as stocking pressures or thin top soil not permitting deep cultivation. For thin or badly poached pastures, pasture rejuvenation should be considered a viable alternative to a complete reseed.
Weeds are low yielding and unpalatable, with very low response to nitrogen. You cannot afford to tolerate more than 30% weed grasses in your swards. It is the weeds that invade the pastures and gradually replace the existing sown grass ley that cause the most damage to productivity and this can lead to a huge reduction in yield. Pasture rejuvenation should not be considered for old pastures infected with creeping bent and other grass weeds as any new grass would struggle to compete.
Successful pasture rejuvenations occur when competition from existing sward is minimal, these conditions occur during early spring before the grass is growing too quickly or after second cut silage/early autumn when the soil temperature is still high.
First you need to assess the condition of the sward before deciding how to improve it. Your local Watson Seeds seed specialist will be happy to visit you and advise a course of action.
For more information on Rejuvenation please download our information booklet below or contact us on 01368 840655 to request one to be sent out.
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