To maximise profits, our Research and Development team undertook sowing rate response experiments on four Italian ryegrass cultivars with rates between 5 and 80kg seed/ha, determining yield over five and four harvests in 2013 and 2014.

Throughout the trial, we determined that farmers can increase their return on investment and achieve an extra $120/ha, by increasing their sowing rate from 25kg/ha to 35kg/ha.

At first harvest, yield was directly linked to increased sowing rates. For example, Feast II® yield increased from 1221kgDM/ha at 20kg/ha to 1620kgDM/ha at 40kg/ha. By the third harvest there was no significant difference between the sowing rates. This confirms that the sowing rate directly affects autumn and/or winter growth rates in Italian ryegrass.

Sowing rate of Feast II Italian ryegrass directly effects yield at first cut - Image featured

Cost of increasing seed per hectare and the cumulative change in profit from increasing sowing rate - Table featured

  • 400kgDM/ha extra feed grown by increasing sowing rate from 25kg/ha to 35kg/ha
  • Extra seed cost = $6.40/kg treated Italian ryegrass (Feast II) = $64/ha
  • Supplementary feed cost valued at $300/t DM
  • By increasing sowing rate from 25kg/ha to 35kg/ha, additional dry matter was grown achieving 400kg DM/ha which is equivalent to $120/ha extra value to farmer
  • Return on investment - $120/ha – $64/ha (extra cost of 10kg seed) = $56/ha advantage

Ultimately, yield can increase by approximately 1129kg DM/ha from 15kg seed/ha to a sowing rate of 40kg/ha

Our recommendations

Based on this trial, we recommend sowing Italian ryegrass pastures at 35kg/ha to achieve the positive change in profit referenced in the table. For the full set of data and economic analysis please contact your local Sales Agronomist.

Feast II tetraploid Italian ryegrass continues to perform strongly and we believe it sets the benchmark for quality and production in the Italian ryegrass market. It provides exceptional winter and spring growth combined with low aftermath heading. Feast II offers farmers an excellent return on investment achieved by multiple grazing opportunities during cooler months as well as high quality hay and silage later in the season.

For more information on Italian ryegrass, contact us on 1800 619 910 or get in touch with your local Sales Agronomist

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