Limagrain grass seed manger Ian Misselbrook encourages contractors to make sure that they are using good quality clover and grass seed mixtures, and preferably seed that has been tested and treated to promote rapid establishment and reduced weed infestation.
“Contractors can be doing a great job of preparing a fine seedbed and ensure good sowing procedures, but if the seed quality is below par, the crop won’t meet expectations,” says Mr Misselbrook. “This isn’t an ideal scenario, and to counter this, contractors may be better sourcing seed on behalf of their customers, or at least making sure the seed is of a reputable quality.”
Testing and treatment procedures offers those using Limagrain seed a quality assurance. “We have two ISTA-regulated seed laboratories that test seed samples regularly. And most of the grass seed mixtures and pelleted clover seed sold through Limagrain is coated with the biological germination accelerator Headstart® Gold.”
Headstart® was originally developed for seed used in the renovation of winter sports pitches and it is now used by more than 60% of premier football clubs and rugby clubs. It contains a balanced package of minerals and trace elements that are essential for the successful establishment of seedlings. The advantages of this treatment are translated to forage grasses too.
“We’ve seen significant advantages in trials over untreated seed in the germination of the crop, even in a difficult season. And in the case of clovers, seed treated with Headstart® is easier to sow and heavier, which improves the soil to seed contact.
“Sowing high quality, treated seed is a damage limitation exercise really,” he adds.