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Sowing & Growing Westerwold Hay Mixture

This flexible cutting option produces a short term, clean, high quality hay. Due to its rapid growth and high biomass, it can be difficult to dry properly therefore this mix has been designed to include high levels of diploid westerwold. This contains less moisture and dries more evenly, speeding up the hay making process.

Suitable Soils and Optimum Ph: The biggest yields are found on moisture retentive soils, however the mix can be sown on most soil types. The pH should be around 6.5.

When to sow: The westerwold hay mix is a flexible grass option to sow in the spring or autumn. It is the only grass that provides a full yield from a spring sowing and most importantly, it reliably develops a seed head in the season of sowing, critical for hay making. 

Sowing Rates: 3.5 g/m2 - 14kg per acre - 35kg per ha

Preparation: A non-selective herbicide should be used before seedbed preparation to create a stale seedbed and control as many weeds as possible. 

Sowing: Drill into a fine, firm seedbed and try to avoid drying the soils out with excessive cultivations in dry periods. Broadcasted seed should be harrowed lightly after sowing and before rolling. Rolling to retain moisture and break down clods before and after sowing is essential. 

Management: Annual weeds should disappear as the new seeds begin to take over, or they can be grazed out with stock. The crop can be terminated in autumn before going back into  cereal rotation. If left in place, it will persist for a full year. 

From a spring sowing a first cut is normally ready by July and a second cut can be taken in late August.

Nutrient Requirement: Hay leys should receive around 70kg ha of nitrogen. Excessive applications can create lush crops that are hard to dry.

Yields of 100-110 per acre small baled hay are not uncommon.


Date Posted: 13th January 2023