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Published
30 .Aug.2018

DLF Westerwolds Sown Under Maize

DLF Westerwolds Sown Under Maize

Mazie crops are shaping up very well this year, and an early harvest is now a likely outcome for many growers. Here we highlight three good reasons why farmers should consider sowing grass in between their next maize crop, along with the type of grass to sow and the method they should use

Why Sow Grass Between Maize Crops?

1. Financial: Maize is a tillage crop and sowing Westerwolds/Italian/Hybrid between maize crops will qualify for the Fodder production incentive measure of €155/ha. “This measure will provide an incentive of €155 per hectare for tillage growers who grow a temporary crop of short rotation grasses for fodder production over the winter months,” Dept. Ag. 2018 

2. Rotation: The majority of short term grass sown in tillage will be coming out for spring barley. While Maize can stay in place until the end of April; delivering more in early spring.
 
3. Environmental: Having a grass crop between maize will prevent leaching, soil erosion and soil wash out during periods of heavy rainfall.

What Grass to Sow?

It’s vital to pick the right species, and therefore, mixtures to sow. We would always advise using Westerwolds or Hybrid Ryegrass (Italian type) for this sowing environment

Westerwolds Ryegrass in particular have traditionally been the choice after maize because they:

  1. Grow better at lower temperatures than other ryegrasses.
  2. Give a better yield of grass in March and April than other grasses.
  3. Can be cut for silage or used as early grazing before ploughing next April.

Six Steps for Sowing Grass After Maize:

  1. Harvest Maize
  2. Spread slurry if available
  3. Till the top 1 – 2 inches of the soil with a harrow
  4. Spread 15kg Westerwolds seed/acre
  5. Broadcast fertiliser based on recent soil test
  6. Roll well

View video here