Using hay and silage production to remove annual grasses

Meat & Livestock Australia · September 23, 2021
Training package


Annual grasses with short seed viability compete with pastures, reducing productivity and quality. One control technique is cutting pastures for hay and silage, but it needs to be correctly managed to optimise effectiveness.

This module outlines how to optimise hay and silage production in order to extend the productive life of an established pasture.

Additional resources and further reading are available in the Materials tab.

Learning objectives

At the completion of this module participants will be able to:

  • understand how to preventing viable seed development
  • understand how to physically trap and remove the seed in the conserved fodder
  • identify the best timing for seed set control.

References and more information

1. Blackshaw RE and Rode LM (1991) Effect of ensiling and rumen digestion by cattle on weed seed viability. Weed Science 39, 104-108.

2. Michalk DL and Dowling PM (1996) Cultural weed management of vulpia. Plant Protection Quarterly 11, 207-210.

3. Piltz JW, Flinn SJ and Weston LA (2019) Comparative effects of grazing, herbicide or forage conservation on barley grass content in Trifolium subterraneum L. clover-based pasture. Crop and Pasture Science 70, 800-806.

4. Bowcher A (2006) Timing pasture cutting for weed management. In: The Grassland Society of NSW 21st annual conference proceedings, Wagga Wagga, pp. 67-70. Online (verified Dec 2020)

5. Dowling PM, Pickering DI and Nicol HI (1996) A comparison of methods for reducing seed-set and regeneration of Vulpia spp. in perennial pastures. In: Proceedings of the Second International Weed Control Congress, pp. 975-980, Copenhagen.


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


Care is taken to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this training package. However, MLA cannot accept responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained in the training package. 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 publication 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 © Meat & Livestock Australia 2021 ABN 39 081 678 364. Published in March 2021. MLA acknowledges the matching funds provided by the Australian Government to support the research and development detailed in this package.

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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 our subsidiary companies, we also accelerate innovation across the value chain and deliver the industry’s integrity and on-farm quality assurance programs.

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Training package Includes

  • 5 Items
  • 3 Quizzes