Pasture establishment on non-cultivable hill country


  • K.N. Tozer
  • G.B. Douglas
  • C.A. Cameron
  • T.J. Fraser
  • R.A. Moss
  • G.M. Rennie
  • T.L. Knight
  • P.D. Muir



To determine the best method of pasture establishment on non-cultivable hill country (>20o slope), four treatments were compared in one year on north and south aspects at four sites with contrasting climates and soil types. Sites were located in Waikato (1), Hawke's Bay (2) and Canterbury (1). The treatments included seed mix (grasses, legumes and herbs (GLH); legumes only (LEG)) and sowing time (spring; autumn). Six weeks after sowing, seedling establishment, as a percentage of viable seeds sown, was: i) greater on south than north aspects for perennial ryegrass (31% vs 18%) and birdsfoot trefoil (5% vs 4%); ii) greater for total sown species (14% vs 8%), subterranean clover (7% vs 4%) and red clover (25% vs 14%) in the GLH than LEG mix, but greater for white clover in the LEG than GLH mix (17% vs 8%); iii) greater in autumn than spring for perennial ryegrass (36% vs 13%) and total sown grasses (22% vs 9%) but greater in spring than autumn for lotus (6% vs 3%). Plantain established well in spring in summer-wet environments, while in summer-dry environments establishment was greater in autumn. Broadcasting seed on south aspects during autumn is likely to result in the highest establishment of sown grasses and legumes, but not necessarily of herbs. The trials were conducted in an unusually wet season. Repeating a subset of the treatments at these sites will provide a greater understanding of responses to climatic variation. Keywords: pasture renewal; pasture establishment; pasture mixtures; oversowing.







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