Re-sewing grass seed & fodder crops for small blocks

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5 years 4 days ago #533815 by daryl007
Hi there, I brought a 20 acre block in Katikati that I graze beefies on. I have 2 large flat paddocks that run along the side of the river. These paddocks can flood anywhere from once to three times during the year. Generally if they do flood it runs off pretty quick- once the tide changes, but can be under water for 24 hours. These 2 paddocks generally grow great grass (maybe due to the nutrients the river dumps on them when it floods?) and make lovely hay in the summer (dosent flood in the summer). I would like to resew these 2 paddocks this year as they are getting quite a lot of kikuyu grass in them (big portion of paddocks have gone yellow & grass is dieing off). I'm putting on 3 tonne a ha of chicken manure in September then same in lime in march. These paddocks haven't been ferted or limed ever! My question is - what sort of grass re sewing should I do? E.G completely spray off current grass, rotary hoe & drill hole (I think it's called) grass seed? What time of year should I do this? And I was thinking maybe I could do a winter feed crop like kale, plantain or fodder beets first, then re sew grass after that. Any advice appreciated- if that is a good idea, what crops are cost effective, do crops give any benefit to the soil, etc? I thought I would rotary hoe the paddocks before putting in a crop which would also give me a chance to cut up the dirt around the drains that I had dug out over the summer etc.

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5 years 4 days ago #533819 by Stikkibeek
I would put forward a word of caution here. If your flats are prone to flooding, then hoeing up at this time of the year could lend itself to a huge loss of topsoil, especially if it floods while the soil is still quite loose.

If you work with the Kikuyu rather than against it, you could over sow with a fast growing winter rye grass which will come up while the Kikuyu is half dead/dormant following frost damage. This will help with quality feed over the winter. By careful grazing of the rest of the kikuyu especially through autumn, you should be able to keep it under reasonable control. If it really bugs you, then spraying out and then drilling in late spring early summer may go some way to getting rid of it. It is pretty tenacious though, makes a good summer feed in times of drought and is hard to get rid of if you have neighbours that have it, and also because of the rhizome like runners that will live on underground

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S
The following user(s) said Thank You: daryl007

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5 years 3 days ago #533835 by daryl007
Thanks heaps for that advice, very good point about the potential of loosing top soil if I rotary hoed in autumn- hadn't thought of that. I had kikuyu at my old block & really didn't mind it in the summer but hated it in the winter when I had no feed at all. I think over sewing while the kikuyu is dormant is a great idea.

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5 years 2 days ago #533845 by LongRidge
Until about 30 years ago, direct drilling of pasture seeds had not been invented, so firstly ploughing and then rotary hoeing was the methods used for pasture re-newal. Unless your ground is compacted, then rotary hoeing it is no longer recommended practice, because the soil releases lots of it's stored carbon and nitrogen. Nowadays direct drilling is considered better for the soil. This involves spraying the paddock with glyphosate, then grazing soon after, Allow the seeds to grow and spray again, then drill. Don't forget to get the fertility correct for what you want to grow, or the new seeds will not grow well.

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5 years 1 day ago #533864 by arnie.m
Personally I find it very hard to "sew " grass seed ,can never get a needle small enough: lol: Perhaps "needle grass" may be the answer :dry:

arnie
88 Valley
Nelson

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4 years 11 months ago #534008 by daryl007
Thanks for your response. What time of the year would you starting to spray off? Remembering my paddocks are more likely to flood from April - September. Are there generally contractors that do the direct drilling or do you get a grass seed rep to come and advise? My gosh I really do sound like an amateur ;-)

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