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15-02-2016

Addition of new generation cocksfoot adds to pasture performance

Addition of new generation cocksfoot adds to pasture performance

With pasture renewal, production is a key consideration but persistency and palatability are equally important. These should be considered when planning permanent repasturing to help ensure longevity, performance and animal productivity.

One way of helping build resilience in a perennial ryegrass pasture mix is adding an additional grass species. One such species is new generation cocksfoot which can be used together with traditional perennial ryegrass and the sowing rates adjusted accordingly. Seed Force’s new generation cocksfoot breeding programme offers improved genetics while still retaining cocksfoot’s persistence benefits and summer performance. SF Greenly ll new generation cocksfoot features such as its upright growth habits ensure it is compatible with legumes and its soft leaves help ensure palatability.

The addition of SF Greenly ll new generation cocksfoot to perennial pastures has been performing well on a number of properties in a wide range of environments nationwide.

Farming in a notoriously dry region means that Waipukurau farmer Andrew Alexander is keen on pastures that can hang on in a dry spell and summer crops for his lambs. He and wife Gayleen run a 260 hectare sheep and bull beef operation, all finishing and trading stock, on what is predominantly limestone country.

When they purchased the property, they were new to the area and the farm had previously been leased. They embarked on a programme to improve the pastures.

“In the autumn I like to mix in, as part of a perennial mix, SF Stellar perennial ryegrass and SF Greenly ll new generation cocksfoot. We put in approximately 15ha of that a year.”

He is pleased with the results from the Stellar/Greenly mix and says the cocksfoot in the mix persists well, hanging on better in the summer dry.

Chris Douglas and his son Henry farm at Te Anau, where they run the Monymusk polled Hereford stud as well as a commercial ewe flock of 3500 Romney breeding ewes and 850 hoggets.

They use a 50/50 mix of SF Stellar perennial ryegrass and other cultivars for their permanent pasture mix. “It seems to be performing well, we’re going to carry on using it,” Chris says.

They are mixing SF Greenly ll new generation cocksfoot with their permanent pastures and, on the lighter blocks, are using a higher rate of Greenly to ryegrass, along with SF Rossi red clover and some plantain. “It’s looking good, very strong, we’re very pleased with that.”

“We’re always trying to increase our production by using new varieties rather than straight ryegrass and clover mixes. Persistence is a big problem here with ryegrass paddocks. Another one of the reasons for using Greenly is to combat grass grub.”

For more information on how adding SF Greenly ll can add to your pasture’s performance contact your local Seed Force representative.