Better establishment means faster pasture growth, less weed competition and a longer period before renovating or re-planting.
- Supplying nitrogen and phosphorus will stimulate early growth for seedlings. This helps with quicker establishment and provides a greater seasonal production of dry matter.
- Vigorous forage seedlings create larger root systems, they grow faster, are more resilient and provide more dry matter.
- Make sure you’re applying a safe amount of fertiliser when applying starters at the sowing stage. Establishment may be compromised if seeds are placed too close to high concentrations of nitrogen or potassium.
- Typically, use a minimum of 10kg/ha of phosphorus in the sowing row close to the seed, even if phosphorus is above the optimal level. This gives seedling roots a nearby source of available phosphorus.
- Higher phosphorus rates can be applied if soil fertility is below optimal – as long as the application stays within safe seed rates.
- Legume-based pastures typically need annual maintenance applications of 12kg/ha of sulphur. This allows for removal, leaching losses and for nutrients to cycle through organic matter.
- New pastures with direct drilling and minimal soil disturbance require low sulphur cycling compared to paddocks under cultivation.