Machinery for Pasture establishment

Broadcasting

Advantages:
  • More profitable
  • Easier to tune the equipment
  • Good seed distribution
Disadvantages:
  • More seeds used per area
  • Needs compactation
  • May drift due to winds

Manual Sowing

Advantages:
  • Cheap equipment
  • Less seed needed
  • Fits all kinds of landscapes
Disadvantages:
  • Slow process
  • Sowing depth may be a problem

In Lines Sowing

Advantages:
  • Seeds stay in touch with soil
  • Enables fertilization
  • Less seeds needed
Disadvantages:
  • Equipment tuning is difficult
  • Needs tractor driver
  •  

Aerial Sowing

Advantages:
  • Quick process
  • Good seed distribution
  • Suited for large areas
Disadvantages:
  • Large amount of seeds needed
  • May drift due to winds

Soil Analysis

Soil analysis is crucial in establishing any crops.  Cultivated pasture is no exception.  Soil analysis will give you the opportunity to improve your change of success.   Your local fertilizer supplier will be able to perform a typical soil analysis at a minimum cost.
The ideal pH for:      

  • Mombasa, MG 5, Tanzania, Aries & Carajas is 5.5pH with a V % of 80%
  • Marandu, Decumbens & MG 4 is 4.8 - 5.5pH with a  V % of  60%

    Soil Analysis Variables:

    • V % = (S x 100) / CTC
    • S = Ca + Mg + K + Na
    • CTC = Ca + Mg + K + Na + Al + H

  • Potassium (K) levels minimum 140 ppm but optimal above 180ppm
  • Phosphate (P) levels minimum 20 ppm but optimal above 25 to 35ppm
  • Magnesium (Mg) levels minimum 240ppm and optimal above 350ppm)
  • Calcium (Ca) levels minimum 850ppm and optimal above 1000ppm
  • Zinc (Zn) levels minimum 7ppm and optimal above 10ppm
  • Copper (Cu) levels minimum 2.5ppm and optimal above 3.5ppm

Soil Preparation

  • It is of utmost importance to eliminate competition from established plants and/or weeds, which results are best achieved using a prober herbicide.  Any competition between weed and/or existing plants will negatively impact on establishing the Matsuda pasture successfully.
  • Prepare a seedbed that is level, weed free, firm and fine (not powdered).
  • Initial preparation can be done by means of harrowing or ploughing during late winter of early spring.
  • Use a dish or harrowing to break up large clots and help destroy weed seedlings.  Depending on results of soil analysis, apply the necessary soil corrections (preferably ± 30 days before planting) and fertilizer.
  • As further measurements, soil can be lightly tilled/harrowed just before planting.
  • Calibrate your sower/planter according to guidelines obtainable from your planters Technical Adviser.

Planting Techniques

  • seeds can be sowed widely (broadcast) or in rows:
  • By hand
  • With a fertilizer spreader
  • With a special fine seed planter
  • With a wheat planter with blades/teeth removed
  • Elephant grass must preferably be planted with a “Blue Buffalo grass” planter or a planter that has a feeding mechanism in the seedcontainer.
  • The correct planting depth is an important factor and must be sowed between 0.5 cm and 1.5 cm.  To deep may hinder the germination.
  • Make sure the seed is well covered and compacted (rolled).

Basic Nutrition Table and Guidlines

P Less than 6.0 Very low
P 7.0 - 15 Low
P 16 - 40 Medium
P More than 40 High
 
K Less than  0.7 Very low
K 0.8 – 1,5 Low
K 1.6 – 3.0 Medium
K 3.0 – 6.0 High
 
Ca 5.0 Very low
Ca 5.0 - 20 Low
Ca 21 - 40 Medium
Ca More than 40 High
 
Mg Less than 4.0 Low
Mg 5.0 – 8.0 Medium
Mg More than 8.0 High
  Nutrients replacement on the dry matter harvested for hay, silage or green chop making
N 2 - 3 %
P2O5 0.5%
K2O 2 %
From the dry matter that is taken away from the area you must replace the amounts of nutrients that appear in the table above.
Calcium and Mg are not required as far as your soil pH is above 5.5.
Nitrogen must be split in 2 to 4 times during the year due to natural losses.

 

Recently planted (1 - 2 months)

 

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