Some of our paddocks have been so saturated for so long that the newly sown perennial pastures have been overwhelmed by toad rush.
Toad Rush is a weed described by the RIRDC in this cheerful way:
“Toad rush tends to thrive where soils are waterlogged and poorly drained. Although toad rush is a small, shallow rooted plant, it germinates in extremely high numbers and the seed is viable in the soil for over 10 years. Toad rush can use over 30% of the available nitrogen in the topsoil and can substantially reduce crop yields.”
Not happy. I’ll have to wait until the paddocks firm up enough to spray it out and then look at these options:
- Resow with more perennial seed in spring and hope the summer is mild enough for it to establish itself (expensive and too risky)
- Sow a brassica crop like turnips or rape (sick of ravenous caterpillars)
- Sow a summer crop like sorghum or millet (poor quality feed/not reliable)
- Sow an Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum)
Looks like the Italians are the way to go. A spring sowing should yield some silage and because it’s after the frosts are over, the grass should stay lush if there’s summer rain rather than bolting to head.