3 reasons why pasture might not be growing as much as it should in September


September means warming soil temperatures, and for most lifestyle blocks that means pasture will be growing markedly faster than it has in the last few months. If it’s not, it’s telling you one of three things.

Outpost hen houses

REASON 1: YOU’RE OVERSTOCKED

If you have too many stock and not enough supplements were fed out during winter, your pasture won’t have had time or nutrients to come away.

Ideally, you want to keep your stock levels at around 75% of what you could carry in the worst season (for some that’s a wet, cold winter, for others it might be a hot, dry summer) so you aren’t slowly destroying your pasture’s resiliance.

REASON 2: LOW SOIL FERTILITY

If fertiliser has not been applied for many years, the soil is likely to be desperately short of lime and the other key nutrients of phosphate and potash. This is an excellent time of year to get soil testing done (especially so you have something to compare it to in future) and to make some decisions on how to feed your soil.

REASON 3: THE WEATHER

It’s easy to blame the weather and cold spring for slow growth, and it can have an effect if the 10cm soil temperature is below 6°C, which will delay ryegrass growth.

NZ Lifestyle Block This article first appeared in NZ Lifestyle Block Magazine.

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