Item 9 of 10
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Managing the establishment phase

After the process of planning, selection and sowing of new pastures, good establishment results from postemergent management. It is this period of management which can set up a persistent and productive pasture with a long lifetime.

This includes:

Zero tolerance of weeds and pests. Checks for pests and weed emergence at 10–14 day intervals after sowing. Insects are more likely to be present in direct drilled than conventionally sown pastures. If earth mites are found, treat pastures with the recommended pesticide immediately. Slugs can be a problem in warm, moist conditions and can be detected by leaving boards or wet paper at sites for monitoring. Slug bait can be used at sowing or soon after for effective results.

Weeds can be controlled with selective herbicides.

Let the grazing begin

If plants are 10–15cm tall and well anchored with good soil moisture, graze heavily and quickly down to 2.5cm and allow to rest. However, do not graze heavily if conditions are dry or pasture is slow to grow.

Allow seed set in the first year and avoid cutting for hay until the following year at the earliest.

Once the plants are well established, good pastures result from well managed grazing patterns – generally a combination of set stocking and rotational grazing.