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To build and preserve yields, its important that a strong and healthy plant establishment is achieved at the critical planting stage.
There are several factors that can affect this and all need to be judged and estimated as you decide a correct planting rate and weight.
Seed size is the first item that needs to be established as that will dictate the actual no of seeds in a kg of seed. This figure is now found on all seeds supplied by Dairygold and identified as the “TGW” figure marked on each pack. After identifying this, the grower needs to estimate the likely success rate of your plantings after allowing for weather at that time, and then the ground conditions that are prevailing, often differing between different soil types and the time of the year as germination slows up as the days get shorter and cold. The losses in late plantings into cold and wet soils can be as high as 40% which simply means that you need to plant heavier rates of seed to compensate. Its also must be pointed out that soil pest such as slugs can affect crops as they emerge, but this is usually dealt with at a later stage and shouldn’t be a major factor in deciding your seed rate. However, its equally fair to assume that your established plants in later sown crops won’t tiller as aggressively and allowances need to be made by increasing your intended plant stand to compensate for this.
The attached table is a good guide after taking a balanced view of conditions and timings and necessary adjustments that should be applied as you prepare your seeding rates.
Read more in the latest edition of Trust in Tillage.