controlling bent grass in pastures
Bent grass grows very slowly over winter and early spring producing little feed for stock. Ryegrass and clover are less competitive than bent grass. Soils with low fertility and high acidity (low pH) suit bent grass. To eradicate you need to aim for Olen Phosphorus (P) above 15 mg/kg, Colwell Potassium (K) above 250 mg/kg, CPC Sulphur (S) above 10 mg/kg and pH (Water) above 5.4. Bent grass survives in waterlogged soils better than ryegrass and clover. Light grazing during spring and summer allow bent grass surplus to accumulate which chokes out clover and ryegrass in autumn. It is recommended that pastures be grazed evenly and then spelled adequately to ensure that bent grass is eaten and ryegrass and cocksfoot have time to recover and shade out bent grass. Applying fertilizer/lime plus grazing at the correct heights will encourage ryegrass and clover plant in bent grass pastures. A soil test can determine if you need to apply lime or fertilizer. Soil test kits are available from fertilizer companies. Low rates of glyphosate applied during late October to late November suppress the formation of seed heads in bent grass. With follow up rains, bent grass remains leafy and provides good quality feed which is attractive to stock. Graze 7 days after application. Continue grazing the bent grass in rotation. Spray to kill and re-sow. Bare out, spray, after spraying apply lime to acid soils before cultivation. Cultivate the bent grass up into small pieces in the first pass. Leave fallow or sow a fodder crop. Remove weeds and sow to new pasture. Graze new pasture and apply fertilizer regularly.
controlling barley grass
Barley is a winter growing annual grass. The feed value of barley grass is high during the winter period. Unfortunately the plant is early maturing and produces an obnoxious seed head in the spring. Animals prefer not to consume the plant after the seed head emerges. As a consequence this plant is able to regenerate annually. Barley grass can irritate the mouths of the animals, penetrate eyes and nostrils and cause infections. Seeds can also become entangled in wool and reduce its value. Barley grass control can be achieved by grazing management or by the use of herbicides. Barley grass control has been achieved by grazing management alone, particularly in annual pasture situations. Heavily grazing paddocks after the autumn break and continuously throughout the rest of the growing season can eradicate barley grass. Use of herbicides such as Gramoxone and wetting agents at the commencement of spring together with heavy grazing of paddocks can also see its removal. Spray topping can be used to control barley grass in annual and perennial pastures. This technique utilizes a low rate of herbicides applied after seed head emergence. Two herbicides can be used to achieve good results are Gramoxone and Glyphosate. When spray topping, it is important to graze the plants heavily in the early spring period.