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Tekapo Orchardgrass

Tekapo Grazing Orchardgrass is a unique dense tillering orchardgrass developed especially for grazing. Tekapo is very unique among orchardgrasses in that it has a very low crown and a dense, prostrate growth habit. This allows Tekapo to be grazed to near ground level; therefore, ideal for sheep and horse grazing. It’s long, soft leaves also make it highly palatable and acceptable to all other livestock. Tekapo will produce a very thick and dense stand that is able to better persist even under hard, continuous grazing. The dense, prostrate growth of Tekapo also helps it to out-compete many invasive weeds.

Under irrigation and high fertility, Tekapo is an abundant producer. With excellent digestibility and good feed value, Tekapo can be combined with high yielding grasses to make an excellent hay/grazing pasture. Tekapo has outperformed many other orchardgrasses in providing high feed value, better palatability and digestibility. Tekapo is tolerant of heat, moderate drought, low fertility, and most folier diseases, including rust. Its aggressive tillers also appear to help better utilize soil nutrients. Tekapo is both endophyte and alkaloid free.

Establishment

Plant TEKAPO at a 1/4″ depth in the spring or early fall.
Orchardgrass takes a year or more to reach its full production potential. Plant in a prepared, firm seedbed, seeding with a Brillion-type seeder, or by broadcast and cultipack. DON’T PLANT TOO DEEP- planting depth of 1/8-1/4″ is best. No-till is only recommended when a herbicide is used to sufficiently kill or retard the existing stand. A minimum pH of 6.0 is best. Profit Orchardgrass should initially be cut or grazed leaving a 4-6″ stand the first cutting, the first year, to insure better persistance and regowth. Because orchardgrass pastures are slower to establish than traditional ryegrass pastures, grazing management following sowing is crucial to successful establishment of the stand. Establishment under ideal growing conditions could be 6-7 weeks for a Spring sowing and 10-12 weeks for an Autumn sowing. In a pure Orchardgrass stand, the first grazing should be brief and preferably by young stock. An application of nitrogen, 25-30 units/acre 4-6 weeks after sowing promotes tillering without damage to the young stand. Once established, orchardgrass should be grazed or cut leaving a 3-4″ residual.

Management

Orchardgrass takes a year or more to reach its full production potential. No-till is only recommended when a herbicide is used to sufficiently kill or retard the existing stand. A minimum pH of 6.0 is best. Profit Orchardgrass should initially be cut or grazed leaving a 4-6″ stand the first cutting, the first year, to insure better persistance and regowth. Because orchardgrass pastures are slower to establish than traditional ryegrass pastures, grazing management following sowing is crucial to successful establishment of the stand. Establishment under ideal growing conditions could be 6-7 weeks for a Spring sowing and 10-12 weeks for an Autumn sowing. In a pure Orchardgrass stand, the first grazing should be brief and preferably by young stock. An application of nitrogen, 25-30 units/acre 4-6 weeks after sowing promotes tillering without damage to the young stand. Once established, orchardgrass should be grazed or cut leaving a 3-4″

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