Sowing & Establishment
Stamina® GT5 like all other lucerne is small seeded, so therefore it is important to ensure that the sowing of Stamina® GT5 is done correctly to ensure the best results for establishment. There are some key fundamentals when sowing lucerne including seedbed preparation, weed control, sowing depth and sowing technique. Following these key steps will help achieve a good establishment of lucerne.
Seedbed preparation – preparing the seed bed takes into consideration the soil type and cultivation of the soil to ensure the soil is fine. This will aid the soil to seed contact at the time of sowing as well as good supporting moisture infiltration around the seed either after a rainfall event or irrigation.
Poor weed control is one of the most common issues that can lead to poor lucerne establishment.
Weed control must start the year prior to sowing the lucerne to ensure adequate time and opportunity to control any weeds that are present in the paddock. This should also reduce the need for post emergent herbicides to be used in the young lucerne crop as this can retard growth.
The sowing depth needs to be managed as lucerne is a small seed and therefore only needs to be sown at
no more the 15mm deep. This will enable the lucerne to germinate and the seedling to rise above the soil to begin photosynthesis.
The sowing technique is the method of actually getting the seed into the soil. With so many different options for sowing equipment, it is important to understand the impact this can have when sowing lucerne. Accuracy of sowing rate, equipment condition (shears, knife points or discs) and final compaction (press wheels, harrows or tyre roller) are all important when looking to successfully establish lucerne.
While Stamina® GT5 has gone through a tough protocol for testing for grazing tolerance, it is not recommended that it is treated in this way in a commercial situation. However, what the testing does do is give the
farmer confidence that Stamina® GT5 will survive better than most other lucernes if treated in less than ideal management for lucerne persistence.
As lucerne relies on stored energy (carbohydrates) in its root system to produce new foliage following grazing, it is recommended that Stamina® GT5 be managed in a rotational grazing system. The recommended rotation period is between 30-35 days rest from grazing during the growing period (rotation lengths may need to be extended during the cooler months due to slower growth). When grazing lucerne, it is ideal to graze the plant down to 5cm in height and then have the stock taken out. This type of management will ensure a strong lucerne stand for many years which will make Stamina® GT5 a very sound investment.
Rotational Grazed – Long Term
Number of Grazings
Minimum 350mm rainfall per annum unless irrigated