In this new series, we will look at a variety of grass seeds from the DLF range. DLF incorporates the HF seeds and Sinclair McGill brands in Ireland, offering a range of seeds to suit all livestock and soil type.
With reseeding in full swing in many places, we’ll take through a step-by-step guide of the seeds available and what you should choose for your farm practice.
When it comes to grass seed, all things are not equal. It is very important for every farmer to assess his or her requirements.
Take this simple formula as an overall starting point:
- Get your soil tested;
- Know your ground type (stoney, cold, marshy etc.);
- Assess your system and plan what your paddocks will be used for (Grazing, silage, mixed);
- Analyse the various methods and choose the most suitable (Ploughing, discing, direct drill etc.);
- Ensure you have a proper seedbed established prior to seeding. This should be firm, level and fine, with minimum trash to ensure good germination. Rolling before and after seeding is advisable, according to Teagasc;
- Pick the seed most suited to your requirements;
- Ensure a balanced acidity level through the application of lime;
- Mind your paddock after seeding. One of the most crucial steps; spray with post-emergent spray to avoid weed contamination and graze frequently to allow the grass to establish a lush, full sward. If clover is in the mix, check with your advisor on a suitable spray.
With these steps in mind, we will now look at what seeds are available; choosing the correct seed is a very important part of the process.
For example, if your ground is extremely dry, choosing a regular grazing mix that promises lush green swards may not offer you the return you might expect.
A deep-rooted seed that permeates the soil structure (HF Reliant, for example) to access the water will be most effective here.
Grass seed is not cheap, but get it right and it will repay you several times over.
This week’s seed: HF 11
HF 11 was perhaps always the best starting point for introducing the varieties we have on offer. This dual-purpose mix is our most popular seed, offering excellent grazing and silage returns and is a consistent performer across a range of systems.
HF 11 offers some of the best and most productive varieties on the market, with performance levels sustaining for up to eight years.
This makes it a popular choice among many farmers who want a quality silage mix with excellent after-grass. Sward density is excellent with the inclusion of seven different varieties all increasing productivity and efficiency.
Know your key terms - Diploid v Tetraploid
Diploid varieties are – compared to tetraploid – distinguished by being more fine-leaved and dense in growth. They are more resistant to damage by grazing cattle. The diploids have a higher dry-matter content and were typically used in high-intensity grazing systems.
Tetraploid varieties are typically darker and more broad-leaved. They are slightly higher yielding with higher sugar content, better winter hardiness, and more open growth.
DLF has developed tetraploid varieties that are as dense as most diploids, making them particularly suitable for grazing. Their seed size is larger than diploids making them ideal for inclusion in over-seeding mixtures. We will look at over-seeding more closely in a later installment.
They produce fewer, larger tillers than diploids leading to more open swards which can give better compatibility with white clover. Their development is regarded as a major advance in grass breeding and are increasingly chosen by farmers when reseeding.
Perennial ryegrass is a high yielding, high quality grass. The best varieties are very persistent under a grazing management, provided they are well fertilised, well managed and the winters are not too severe.
In cold areas, perennial ryegrass plays an important role in short term leys with high yields and quality.
Perennial ryegrass is compatible in mixtures with white clover; it is suitable for cultivation in most types of soils except very wetland.
Perennial ryegrass is available in early, intermediate and late heading types and in diploid and tetraploid forms.
The HF 11 Mix:
- Boyne Intermediate Perennial Ryegrass - One of the top rating diploids with excellent consistency and stable, high yields year-on-year;
- Nifty Intermediate Perennial Ryegrass – Excellent diploid variety with high-level grazing and excellent autumn production. Very resistant to Crown Rust;
- Seagoe Tetraploid Intermediate Perennial Ryegrass - Compliments Nifty by focusing on early spring and summer growth with excellent forage quality;
- Kerry Late Perennial Ryegrass – Excellent spring growth, maintaining through autumn. High sugar content and excellent digestibility;
- Glenroyal Late Perennial Ryegrass - very dense variety with good forage quality and exceptionally good mid and late season growth;
- Aspect Tetraploid Late Perennial Ryegrass – Exceptional graze-out on paddocks, one of the highest Teagasc rated grazing seeds and excellent Dry Matter Digestibility;
- HF Dual Purpose White Clover - Made up of Coolfin, the highest yielding medium-leafed clover on the recommended list.
This mix is suited to most soil types and sustains well through even harsh winters. The product is available with or without clover on request and has excellent customer satisfaction.
Getting the balance right with the blend is hugely important, so if intensive grazing and quality silage are what you’re looking for, this offers good yields, excellent graze-out and higher meat and milk production.
For more information, or to order in Mayo, contact Danny at Moran Agri Services through Facebook or email - email@example.com
We will look at the HF GrassMax ProNitro dual-purpose coated seed for overseeding