Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


White clover rewards careful sowing

White clover rewards careful sowing

February 25: Farmers can get up to 20% more white clover established in their new paddocks simply by sowing it differently, a Canterbury trial has found.

Agriseeds compared five different techniques for establishing new pasture in autumn, plus a control treatment, to find out more about what effect sowing method has on clover population in the sward.

Broadcasting clover and ryegrass seed on the surface, then harrowing and rolling it to simulate the effect of a roller drill, gave the best result when the swards were analysed nine months after sowing.

The second best result came from sowing ryegrass seed in 10-15 mm rows, broadcasting clover seed on the surface, then harrowing and rolling.

Broadcast treatments averaged 50% clover content in the sward nine months later, and 20% more than the plots where ryegrass and clover seed were sown together in 10-15 mm rows.

The poorest result in terms of clover population was caused by sowing ryegrass and clover together in rows 10-15 mm deep.

White clover seed broadcast separately later in spring did establish, but was at lower levels when assessed in January due to the later sowing.

Although it was not as successful as the best autumn methods, it can be a useful option where a winter herbicide programme is needed to control specific problem weeds.

Sowing rates of 20 kg per ha ryegrass and 4 kg per ha clover were used for all treatments.

Agriseeds agronomist Matt Smith ran the trial and will take more samples this autumn to find out what if any changes have taken place in the swards 12-15 months after his initial measurements, and how well the spring oversowing option catches up.

Although it remains key to New Zealand pastoral farm systems, white clover content in perennial pastures is typically much lower than the recommended optimum of 30-40%, he says.

The prevailing emphasis on fast turnaround for new pastures doesn’t always help.

“Modern high production farming systems now demand new pastures are back into full production within three months, and at the same time more cost effective drilling techniques (such as grass to grass renewal through direct drilling) have become popular.

“In many cases little thought has been given to white clover, reducing the chance for successful establishment. This is made even more difficult if conditions for initial emergence are not maximised.”

With its small seed, white clover requires shallow sowing and it also needs light and space after seedlings emerge. While ryegrass can successfully emerge from a sowing depth of 20 mm, optimum sowing depth for clover is much closer to the surface at two to three mm.

Results from the trial showed just what a difference sowing technique can make to clover establishment, Smith says, and reinforced Agriseeds’ advice to use a roller drill followed by harrows when planting new pasture.

“This spreads the seed evenly across the surface of the paddock and gives the clover more space and

light than when it is compacted into tight rows with ryegrass seed. Roller drills are also excellent for suppressing weeds, because there is less space for weed seedlings to emerge in the first place.”

Farmers can also help their clover get a good start by following general principles for establishing pasture, including ensuring correct soil fertility; creating a firm, fine seedbed and preventing ryegrass from becoming too long and shading out clover plants in early establishment.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


DIY Law: Government Exempts Some Home Improvements From Costly Consents

Homeowners, builders and DIYers will soon have an easier time making basic home improvements as the Government scraps the need for consents for low-risk building work such as sleep-outs, sheds and carports – allowing the construction sector ... More>>


Media Awards: The New Zealand Herald Named Newspaper Of The Year, Website Of The Year At Voyager Media Awards

The New Zealand Herald has been labelled a “powerhouse news operation” as it claims the two biggest prizes – Newspaper of the Year and Website of the Year – along with many individual awards at the 2020 Voyager Media Awards Website of the ... More>>


ASB Bank: ASB Takes The Lead Again With New Low Home Loan Interest Rate

ASB has moved again to support its customers, cutting a number of home loan rates, including the two-year special rate to a new low of 2.69% p.a. Craig Sims, ASB executive general manager Retail Banking says the reduced rate will be welcome news for many ... More>>


Nathan Hoturoa Gray: The Problems With Testing And Case Statistics For Covid-19

To begin to understand disease transmission in a country requires adequate testing of your population with properly vetted, accurate tests. As the world struggles to find what 'adequate percentage' of the population is necessary, (estimates predict ... More>>


RNZ: Fletcher Building To Lay Off 1000 Staff In New Zealand

The construction company will cut around 10 percent of its workforce as it struggles with the fallout from Covid-19. More>>


Can Pay, Won't Pay: Cashflow Moves Urged

Government Ministers are asking significant private enterprises to adopt prompt payment practices in line with the state sector, as a way to improve cashflow for small businesses. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Why We Should Legally Protect The Right To Work From Home

For understandable reasons, the media messaging around Level Two has been all about “freedom” and “celebration”, but this is not necessarily going to be a universal experience. When it comes to workplace relations, Level Two is just as likely to ... More>>


Telecoms: Spark Welcomes Spectrum Allocation And Prepares For 5G Rollout Over The Next 12 Months

Spark welcomes spectrum allocation and prepares for 5G rollout over the next 12 months Spark today welcomed the announcement of the direct allocation process of 5G spectrum, with the Company to be offered management rights to 60 MHz of 3.5 GHz ... More>>


Trade: Record Monthly Surplus As Imports Dive

Imports in April 2020 had their biggest fall since October 2009, resulting in a monthly trade surplus of $1.3 billion, Stats NZ said today. “This is the largest monthly trade surplus on record and the annual goods trade deficit is the lowest ... More>>


Media Blues: Stuff Chief Executive Buys Company For $1

Stuff chief executive Sinead Boucher has purchased Stuff from its Australian owners Nine Entertainment for $1.
The chief executive was returning the company to New Zealand ownership, with the sale is expected to be completed by 31 May.
"Our plan is to transition the ownership of Stuff to give staff a direct stake in the business as shareholders," Boucher said in a statement.... More>>


RNZ: Bar Reopening Night 'much, Much Quieter'

Pubs and bars are reporting a sluggish first day back after the lockdown, with the fear of going out, or perhaps the joy of staying home, thought to be a reason for the low numbers. More>>


Stats NZ: New Zealand’s Population Passes 5 Million

New Zealand's resident population provisionally reached 5 million in March 2020, Stats NZ said today. More>>

NIWA: Seven Weeks Of Clearing The Air Provides Huge Benefits: Scientist

Seven weeks of lockdown has provided evidence of how pollution can vanish overnight with benefits for the environment and individuals, says NIWA air quality scientist Dr Ian Longley. Dr Longley has been monitoring air quality in Auckland, Wellington ... More>>


Government: Milestone In Cash Flow Support To SMEs

A significant package of tax reforms will be pushed through all stages in Parliament today to throw a cash flow lifeline to small businesses. More>>


University Of Canterbury: Astronomers Discover The Science Behind Star Bursts That Light Up The Sky

University of Canterbury (UC) astronomers are part of an international team that has revealed how explosions on the surface of a white dwarf star can increase its brightness by thousands or millions of times making it look like a new star. For ... More>>

Air NZ: Air New Zealand Adds Business-timed Flights For Regions

Air New Zealand will operate business-timed flights in and out of a number of regional ports from next month.
The flights will allow customers in Hamilton, Tauranga, Napier, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Nelson, Dunedin and Invercargill to undertake a day of business in either Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch... More>>