Optimising seedling recruitment to avoid resowing

Meat & Livestock Australia · December 13, 2021


Resowing pastures is expensive and risky. Unfortunately, sown perennial pastures thin out over time, reducing productivity and providing an opportunity for weeds to increase.

However, there are strategies that can be used every few years to encourage seedling recruitment in perennial ryegrass and cocksfoot, resulting in new plants without having to resow. This eLearning module outlines some of those strategies. 

References and further reading are available in the Materials tab.

Learning objectives

At completion of this module, you will:

  • understand which species actively recruit seedlings 
  • understand how to manage seedling recruitment 
  • understand how to maximise seed fall 
  • understand how to encourage and protect germinating seedlings. 


Lisa Miller and Jess Brogden, Southern Farming Systems
Cam Nicholson, Nicon Rural Services

References and more information

  1. Waller RA, Quigley PE, Saul GR, Kearney GA and Sale PWG (1999) Tactical versus continuous stocking for persistence of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) in pastures grazed by sheep in south-western Victoria. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture 39, 265-274.
  2. Virgona JM and Hill AJ (1997) ‘Cocksfoot’, in RD Fitzgerald and GM Lodge (eds) Technical Bulletin 47 – Grazing management of temperate pastures: literature reviews and grazing guidelines for major species, NSW Agriculture.
  3. Cullen BR, Chapman DF and Quigley PE (2005) Persistence of Phalaris aquatica in grazed pastures 1. Plant and tiller population characteristics. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture 45, 41-48.
  4. Thapa R, Kemp DR and Mitchell ML (2012) Climatic conditions for seedling recruitment within perennial grass swards in southeastern Australia. Crop and Pasture Science 63, 389-398
  5. Joseph K (2017) South West Prime Lamb Group (SWPLG) – Perennial pasture persistence. MLA project B.FDP.0052 final report. MLA, Sydney.
  6. McCallum DA, Thomson NA and Judd TG (1991) Experiences with deferred grazing at the Taranaki Agricultural Research Station. Proceedings of the New Zealand Grassland Association 53, 79-83.
  7. Sustainable Grazing Systems (SGS) (1999) Making ryegrass persist is not that hard. Prograzier: National FarmWalk Edition Spring

About Instructor

Meat & Livestock Australia

MLA’s purpose is to foster the long-term prosperity of the Australian red meat and livestock industry by investing in research and marketing activities. Through it's subsidiary companies, MLA also accelerates innovation across the value chain and delivers the industry’s integrity and on-farm quality assurance programs. Care is taken to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in all eLearning modules. However, MLA cannot accept responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained in the training packages. You should make your own enquiries before making decisions concerning your interests. MLA accepts no liability for any losses incurred if you rely solely on this material and excludes all liability as a result of reliance by any person on such information or advice. Apart from any use permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, all rights are expressly reserved. Requests for further authorisation should be directed to the Content Manager, PO Box 1961, North Sydney, NSW 2059 or info@mla.com.au. © Meat & Livestock Australia 2020 ABN 39 081 678 364. MLA acknowledges the matching funds provided by the Australian Government to support the research and development detailed in this eLearning module.

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Training package Includes

  • 6 Items
  • 4 Quizzes