Overseeding presents a real opportunity to restore production in tired or damaged swards. It is also a way to get a rebound in forage yield in a low-cost, energy saving and climate-friendly way. The drilling technique saves money for expensive fuel and the loss of CO2 from the seed bed preparation is limited to a minimum.
When the sward becomes open allowing weeds and unsown species to invade, overseeding will help to restore and maintain productivity by increasing both yield and quality. The loss of 1 tonne DM/ha @ 11MJ/ kg DM equates to 11000 MJ. This is the difference between success and failure in forage production!
No matter how good the grassland management is, there will be a decline in output and an increase in weed species present over time. From year one a yield decrease of 8-10% is normal, which unfortunately is also associated with a decline in forage quality. Without any doubt sward renewal is a golden option. In many cases however, it is not practical nor economical to establish swards with a full reseed. Instead, an overseeding can successfully improve both yield and quality of the grassland at 25% of the normal cost.
The main advantages of overseeding grassland are:
Read more about yield improvements and top tips for overseeding in the latest Insiders Turf & Forage article in European Seed