Advice for dairy farmers: Can you justify the cost of reseeding?

Excluding the costs of fertiliser and lime (necessary for both old and new pastures), the extra cost associated with reseeding varies from €200 to €250 per acre.

Some surface seeding of clean but damaged pastures can be carried out for less than €100 per acre.

The extra grass output from reseeding should be up to 1.5 tonnes of dry matter (7.5t of grass) per acre, per year, which is worth at least €250 per tonne.

In addition, the reseeded pasture is much higher quality and grows earlier in the year.

Assuming that you maintain the reseeded pasture in a highly productive state for eight to 10 years, reseeding is the best investment a farmer can make.

If, on the other hand, you allow reseeds to revert back to poor weedy pastures in a few years, reseeding is not worthwhile.

Neither is it worthwhile if the fertility of the soil is not correct, or if the drainage is poor.

Therefore the job should be done right, with proper follow up, or not done at all.

In order to justify the cost of reseeding, many different factors should be considered.

The level of ryegrass in the existing swards and the management of the grassland after reseeding should be the main influencing factors.

The demand for extra feed on your farm is another factor to be considered.

Unfortunately, some farmers cannot afford to reseed, but neither can they afford not to reseed.

Where there is a reasonable level of ryegrass, an application of lime followed by good grazing and fertiliser practices can often make a huge improvement in grass production.


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