As farmers plan for summer reseeding and overseeding, careful consideration of grass varieties can help to significantly increase future grass yields.

According to Alex Law, grassland and forage crop product manager at Carr's Billington, overseeding straight after silaging provides a great opportunity to ‘stich-in’ grass seeds and repair swards.

Furthermore, soils are ready to plough for a summer re-seed, providing soil pH is checked and fertiliser use is carefully monitoring beforehand, he said.

Although successful reseeding and overseeding relies on multiple factors, to include adequate moisture levels and control of sward growth once the planting has taken place, Mr Law added that long-term success of the operation largely comes down to the grass varieties chosen.

“We recommend grass varieties depending on their suitability with the soil type, and this will differ depending on whether you’re intending a complete reseed or an overseed operation," he said.

"In the case of overseeding, the aim is to choose varieties which will compete with the current grasses during establishment, for example tetraploid perennial ryegrass, hybrid ryegrass, or Italian ryegrass. These varieties grow quickly and achieve a good height meaning they are not smothered by the old grass still in the field.”

Newly established grass varieties offer several benefits in terms of improved palatability to optimise intakes and maximise animal performance from grass. Optimising grass performance is however dependent on soil type and nutrient status.

“For a complete reseed, we are considering the whole sward structure with variety selection and sward density significantly determining long term grass production. In this instance, we include diploid ryegrass varieties with the tetraploid varieties. The diploid varieties are robust and competitive with weeds and provide a good carrying capacity for livestock.

“For those who are unsure on which varieties to select, our comprehensive grass and forage product management guide provides an overview of our high performing grass seed mixtures and recommended varieties to suit your individual farm requirements," said Mr Law.