The cost of reseeding is high, but it is highly rewarding if the job is done right, and pre-sowing and post-sowing spraying is carried out properly.
Pastures to be reseeded should be burned off with a glysophate product a few weeks before preparing the ground for reseeding.
It is vitally important to spray the new reseeds before the weeds reach four inches high, because they are more easily killed at that stage.
Where there is no clover sown and dock seedlings and chick weeds are the major problem, fluroxypyr products such as Hurler or Reaper are a good choice.
Where a range of other weeds is present, Pastor is very effective.
Where clover is included in the seed mix, which should normally be the case, it is important that the clover has reached the trifoliate leaf stage before spraying, and an undersown spray should be used.
Legumex DB protects clover, but if chickweed is a problem, Triad should be added.
Where weeds have become established, such as in last autumn’s reseeds, undersown sprays are unlikely to be very effective. Good grassland management helps to keep weeds out of pastures, but over time, weeds tend to creep in, especially in open silage swards.
It is vital to control weeds in established pastures, because they can seriously reduce pasture production if present in significant numbers. Docks are generally the biggest problem. Where clover isn’t important, farmers have traditionally being using straight CMPP products to control docks (but not eliminate them). These are no longer allowed, under cross compliance rules.
However, there are equally cheap and more effective products available. These include Hurler, Reaper and High Load Mircam.
Where longer term control is required, use products like Doxstar and Forefront. If clover is important, products like Eagle can be used, but the experience on the Teagasc Solohead farm indicate that all sprays do some damage to clover. Other weeds such as thistles and nettles are occasional problems, and can be controlled by a range of available products.
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