Submitted to: Langston University Fact Sheet
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/15/2005
Publication Date: 1/5/2005
Citation: Bartholomew, P.W. 2005. Overseeding cool-season forages into unimproved warm-season pasture. Langston University Grassland Center of Excellence Factsheet. 2 pp. Interpretive Summary: ABSTRACT ONLY
Technical Abstract: Overseeding is a method of establishing cool-season forages that may be of particular interest for farmers with limited time and equipment, because the use of minimal cultivation results in reduced time and cost for planting, compared with conventional tillage and sowing. Also, since existing pasture is not destroyed, the soil surface is protected, soil erosion is kept to a minimum and there is less risk of treading damage by animals grazing on wet ground. Overseeding means that cool season forages can be grown without losing summer forage production and there is less risk of production loss if the reseed fails. Overseeding can be done simply by broadcasting seed over an existing pasture, but is most likely to be successful if a specially-designed no-till seeder is used. Establishment under the most effective no-till practices (which may include use of herbicide to suppress existing pasture growth) can be at least as good as with sowing following conventional tillage. The yields of cool-season forages on the most effective no-till plantings average about 10% less than the yields from conventional cultivation and sowing. But when cool and warm-season forage production on overseeded pastures are combined there is an average year-round yield benefit of 16%, compared with untreated pastures. The seasonal distribution of forage production can also be improved by overseeding, and the greatest impact is found when the seasons of growth of oversown and existing forages are different. Thus, cool-season grasses or cool-season legumes sown into warm-season grasses are most effective in improving seasonal yield distribution and increasing total annual yield. However, gains in production during the winter-spring (October-April) period are likely to be made at the cost of some summer forage production.