Don’t break the (seed) bank
Maintaining a high seed bank is crucial to growing pastures which will regenerate quickly after the cropping phase, or persist as a standalone pasture.
Getting it right involves:
- allowing seed set in the establishment year and then every two to three years following
- understanding the breakdown patterns of seeds under various conditions
- using livestock to ingest and spread the seed during grazing
- avoiding overgrazing during flowering to allow the development of pods.
How do I incorporate cropping?
It is recommended a cereal crop is sown into a hardseeded legume pasture the year after establishment using minimum tillage machinery. Cropping utilises nitrogen fixed by the legumes and allows time for hard seed to break down.
If a reasonable seed bank has been developed in the establishment year, regeneration will be ensured in year three.
Very hard-seeded legumes like biserrula and yellow serradella can withstand three or four successive crops and still regenerate adequately.